This blog post was written by DuPage Democrat Intern Grace Rubas.
I spoke with Liz Chaplin, a DuPage County Board member, about the water quality in DuPage. Liz Chaplin has been on the DuPage County Board since 2012, and she was a member of the DuPage Water Commission until 2010. The DuPage Water Commission is an organization that is in a 40 year contract with the City of Chicago. They buy water from the City of Chicago, and then provide many parts of DuPage County with its clean, fresh water. There are a few areas of DuPage that are not a part of the Water Commission. Most of these areas are unincorporated and use well water as their main water source. Here is what Mrs. Chaplin had to say.
One of the first things she told me was that she joined the DuPage Water Commission after becoming concerned about the water quality in her area. She said that in the parts of DuPage that are unincorporated, they use well water as their main water source. Most of these wells are safe, but some, like the one that was in her area, were not completely safe. She became concerned with the TCE and PCE levels in the water in her area. TCE and PCE are volatile organic chemicals, as well as being known carcinogens, meaning that it is a big deal if they are found in the water. After becoming concerned, she became a part of the DuPage Water Commission and improved the water quality in her area.
Mrs. Chaplin explained to me that education about water conservation is important. She expressed that a local group called Scarce is working on this task. Scarce is an environmental group that goes to schools to teach kids about recycling and conservation. She also told me that if people are interested in reducing water, there are lots of improvements with low flow toilets and low flow fixtures for showers and sinks. They help reduce water use, making it easier for people to use less water. You can learn more about Scarce at their website here.
I had read that Bartlett recently joined the DuPage Water Commission. I was curious about if it would affect the water quality for people in other parts of DuPage. She said that it won’t change the water quality because the water we use in DuPage comes from Lake Michigan and goes into the DuPage Water Commission to be processed. She explained to me that water replenishes itself, but we still don’t want so many people using water from the lake that it would be a strain. Bartlett is partly in DuPage County, and its addition will not over strain the lake as a resource of water.
It was a pleasure to meet Mrs. Chaplin by phone and to learn about the DuPage Water Commission. I really admire how she had a concern and took it upon herself to get involved to address it. We should all be inspired by this type of community presence and thankful that the good folks at the DuPage Water Commission are working hard to keep our water safe and plentiful!