Chicago suburb of West Dundee says water safe

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

WEST DUNDEE, Ill. (WLS) -- An official with the northwest Chicago suburb of West Dundee says the village's water is safe to drink despite elevated levels of a chemical and radioactive element.

Village Manager Joe Cavallaro tells the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald the higher levels of barium and radium are because of equipment failure in West Dundee's water softening system.

But he says the two months needed for repairs is too short a period to present a health risk.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency says the village is not violating water quality standards because the barium threshold of 2 milligrams per liter is assessed as an annual average. A Nov. 26 reading put it at 7.2 milligrams.

Illinois EPA spokeswoman Kim Biggs explains that it takes more than one high reading to violate standards.