In light of recent reports, Cicero officials said that residents should not have fears about the safety of water, and they emphasized the Water Department actively monitors lead levels using state certified testing procedures to guarantee health safety.
Concerns about Cicero’s water quality raised recently by a small group of activists are important, but no information has been provided to the town on how the water samples were collected and analyzed. Officials have since asked to meet with them to review their data.
Cicero has led the region in fighting for clean water and was the first community to add anti-lead safeguards. The practice was soon followed by the City of Chicago, who provides water to Cicero and dozens of other suburban communities.
“Cicero purchases its water from the City of Chicago which adds an anti-corrosive additive that reduces lead seepage into the water. The practice of adding the anti-corrosive safety procedure was first initiated by the Town of Cicero,” said town spokesman Ray Hanania.
“All of Cicero’s water pipes are made of ductile or iron and they are not made of lead. The samples taken by the activists were likely taken from a home or structure built prior to 1986 when using lead pipes in residential homes was a common practice in Illinois. Even though this issue likely stems from residential water pipes, the town intends to use all its resources and expertise to assist homeowners and best practices to improve water quality.”
Hanania said the town continues to monitor lead-water levels and adheres to strict testing procedures established by the state.
“We continue to urge residents to follow state-recommended practices,” he said.
According to Illinois officials, problems occur when water is allowed to sit for long periods of time. The state recommends that homeowners run their drinking water for a few minutes if the water has not been used for eight hours or more. The town’s Water Department agrees this should should always be done.
Hanania added that the Cicero Health Department and Health Commissioner Sue Grazzini regularly conduct year-round lead testing and those tests show lead levels are consistently low.
“The safety of our citizens is the number one priority of Town President Larry Dominick and the Town Board of Trustees,” Hanania said. “Cicero’s water is safe, and we take any concerns about water quality and safety seriously.”