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Cicero, Illinois Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water for Cicero, Illinois

The city of Cicero buys its water from the city of Chicago.  Here is where Chicago gets its water. Lake Michigan, by volume, is the second largest Great Lake and the only one located totally within the United States. It serves as a source of drinking water, fishing, and unfortunately...industrial run off. 

Here is the process that the City of Chicago uses to filter the water for drinking in Cicero. Is Cicero's tap water safe to drink?

  1. Water from Lake Michigan enters the intake crib at depths of 20 to 30 feet. 
  2. Water enters the purification plant's intake basin through a tunnel beneath the lake bed.
  3. Water is filtered through eight traveling screens to catch debris. 
  4. Water is pumped by low lift pumps up to 25 feet for the first chemical treatment. 
  5. Water flows from the chemical application channels. 
  6. Water flows through mixing basins to begin the flocculation process. 
  7. Flocculated water passes into settling basins to sit for hours allowing floc to settle. 
  8. Water is filtered through precisely graded sand and gravel performing a "natural polishing". 
  9. Filtered water flows into clearwells for its final chemical application. 
  10. From finished water reservoirs water flows to the distribution system.

The City of Chicago uses several chemicals in the purification and treatment of water: 

  • Chlorine: to disinfect the water. 
  • Aluminum Sulfate or Alum and Polymer: for coagulation to settle out impurities. 
  • Blended Polyphosphate: to coat pipes and prevent lead leaching. 
  • Activated Carbon: to remove unpleasant tastes and odors. 
  • Fluoride: to help fight cavities in children's teeth.

Source: City of Chicago & City of Cicero

Contaminants Found in Cicero's Water Supply

(Detected above health guidelines)

Hormones

Hormones in drinking water come from human and animal wastewater discharged into drinking water sources. Conventional drinking water treatment does not remove hormones.

Bromodichloromethane

Bromodichloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromodichloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chloroform

Chloroform, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Chloroform and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chromium (hexavalent)

Chromium (hexavalent) is a carcinogen that commonly contaminates American drinking water. Chromium (hexavalent) in drinking water may be due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in mineral deposits and groundwater.

Dibromochloromethane

Dibromochloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water.

Dichloroacetic acid

Dichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Radiological contaminants 

Radiological contaminants leach into water from certain minerals and from mining. This utility detected Radium, combined (-226 & -228).

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Trihalomethanes are cancer-causing contaminants that form during water treatment with chlorine and other disinfectants. The total trihalomethanes group includes four chemicals: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform.

Trichloroacetic acid

Trichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. 

Fluoride

Fluoride occurs naturally in surface and groundwater and is also added to drinking water by many water systems. The fluoride that is added to water is not the naturally occurring kind, the main chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are known as “silicofluorides” (i.e., hydrofluorosilicic acid and sodium fluorosilicate). Silicofluorides are not pharmaceutical-grade fluoride products; they are unprocessed industrial by-products of the phosphate fertilizer industry (Gross!). Since these silicofluorides undergo no purification procedures, they can contain elevated levels of arsenic — moreso than any other water treatment chemical. In addition, recent research suggests that the addition of silicofluorides to water is a risk factor for elevated lead exposure, particularly among residents who live in homes with old pipes.

Potential Health Effects of Consuming These Contaminants

Health risks of hormones in excess of health guideline

Unknown: This utility detected 4-Androstene-3,17-dione. Hormones in drinking water come from human and animal wastewater discharged into drinking water sources. Conventional drinking water treatment does not remove hormones.

Health risks of bromodichloromethane in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.4 ppb for bromodichloromethane was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of chloroform in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 1 ppb for chloroform was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of chromium (hexavalent) in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.02 ppb for chromium (hexavalent) was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of dichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.7 ppb for dichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of trihalomethanes in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.8 ppb for trihalomethanes was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a draft public health goal, the level of drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of trichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.5 ppb for trichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of radiological contaminants in excess of health guidelines

Birth defects: Drinking water contamination with radioactive substances increases the risk of cancer and may harm fetal development.

Health risks of dibromochloromethane  in excess of health guidelines

Cancer & Birth Defects: Dibromochloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Health risks of fluoride in excess of health guidelines

Unknown: Many experts consider fluoride to be a nuerotoxin. Fluoride has long been known to be a very toxic substance. This is why, like arsenic, fluoride has been used in pesticides and rodenticides (to kill rats, insects, etc). It is also why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires that all fluoride toothpaste sold in the U.S. carry a poison warning that instructs users to contact the poison control center if they swallow more than used for brushing.

Contaminant Levels in Cicero, IL Compared to Other Regions

Bromodichloromethane

 - Health Guideline: 0.4 ppb

 - State: 6.06 ppb

 - Cicero, IL: 7.90 ppb

 - National: 4.37 ppb

Chloroform

 - Health Guideline: 1.0 ppb

 - State: 16.5 ppb

 - National: 11.4 ppb

 - Cicero, IL: 9.79 ppb

Chromium (hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - Cicero, IL: 0.209 ppb

 - State: 0.263 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

Dibromochloromethane

 - Health Guideline: 0.1 ppb

 - State: 3.27 ppb

 - National: 3.01 ppb

 - Cicero, IL: 4.44 ppb

Dichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.7 ppb

 - State: 6.78 ppb

 - National: 6.00 ppb

 - Cicero, IL: 4.93 ppb

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - State: 26.7 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Cicero, IL: 22.1 ppb

Trichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.5 ppb

 - State: 5.03 ppb

 - National: 4.93 ppb

 - Cicero, IL: 5.42 ppb

Hormones 

Human sex hormones are sometimes detected at low concentrations in drinking water. There are no current health guidelines to determine whether these exposures are safe, or if they could pose a risk to human health. This utility detected 4-Androstene-3,17-dione & Testosterone.

Radiological contaminants  

No information available about this contaminant but it cannot be good. This utility detected Radium, combined (-226 & -228).

Fluoride

 - Legal Limit: 4 ppb

 - State: 0.911 ppb

 - National: 0.440 ppb

 - Cicero, IL: 0.825 ppb

Epic Pure Pitcher

April Jones

A hiker, blogger, clean living enthusiast, and water quality expert.

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