Sauk Village residents demand clean drinking water

July 18, 2012

Quinn Ford

Residents of Sauk Village in southern Cook County are demanding clean water. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced earlier this week the village’s drinking water is contaminated with vinyl chloride. The IEPA says the chemical is a known carcinogen.

Village officials haven’t given many details but have said they are setting up an emergency plan, which may include buying residents bottled water.

Resident Joe Ciechomski said he won’t even use the water to shower.

“All I know is the water’s bad, and I don’t care what it takes.” Ciechomski said. “I need the problem solved, and if it takes my taxes going up, I can’t live without water.”

Ciehomski said he’s rigging up his own water filter in the meantime.

An IEPA spokesperson says a relatively small amount of the chemical was detected in the village’s drinking water, but the spokesperson said long-term exposure could cause health problems.

Village Manager Henrietta Turner repeatedly refused to comment on the matter.

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