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Plainfield mayor to investigate E. Coli contamination

Madhu Mayer | 9/15/2021, 9:37 p.m.
Following a weekend where residents could not get their favorite iced coffees at local establishments or get tap water with ...

Following a weekend where residents could not get their favorite iced coffees at local establishments or get tap water with their dinner at restaurants, things are back to normal in the Village of Plainfield as the EPA has declared it is safe to consume water.

Last Friday, residents who receive their water from the Village of Plainfield received alerts from Will County that E. coli bacteria was found in the community's water supply. Residents were all told to boil their water, causing mass shortage of bottled water in area stores.

Anyone who drinks water contaminated with E. coli can have diarrhea, stomach cramping, pain or tenderness, nausea and vomiting.

The village staff regularly conducts weekly water sampling to ensure its quality. But last week, staff found samples with unacceptable levels of E. coli bacteria, said Mayor John Argoudelis. The village receives its water supply from Lake Michigan.

Over the weekend, the village received results from more than 40 samples showing the test results were negative for E. coli contamination.

The cause of the contamination is unknown. On his Facebook post, Argoudelis urged residents to note engage in a blame game.

"Now is not the time to point fingers and draw the worst conclusions about village staff and leadership," he wrote. "This isn't about politics. This is about our community and our health and welfare."

Argoudelis said he believes there may have been an "error" made in the lab analysis, leading to a false positive. He promised residents that the village would conduct an internal investigation on the issue as will the EPA.

The boil order caught many people off guard, including Jose Cervantes of Plainfield.

As he looked at the empty store shelves, he said, "There is no water here. I am now going to Bolingbrook to buy water for my family. Other stores who do have water are limiting the purchase to only two."

Allen Persons, public works director, said the last time Plainfield issued an emergency boil order was following the devastating 1990 tornado.

Students in Plainfield Community Consolidated School District took remote classes during the emergency boil order.