Dear Fox Lake Water System Customer,
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) recently tested our water system for compounds known as Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) as part of a statewide investigation of community water supplies. PFAS are a group of thousands of manmade substances that have been produced in the United States since the 1940s and utilized for a variety of applications ranging from water and stain-proofing to firefighting. Some PFAS have been phased out of production due to environmental and human health concerns, yet they persist in the environment and may contaminate surface and ground waters.
Neither the Illinois EPA nor the U.S. EPA has yet developed enforceable drinking water standards for PFAS. In the interim, Illinois EPA has developed health-based Draft Guidance Levels (DGL) for the small number of PFAS for which there is appropriate information to do so. There is not enough information available to scientists to develop health-based Draft Guidance Levels for most PFAS. Draft Guidance Levels are intended to be protective of all people consuming the water over a lifetime of exposure. It is important to understand that Draft Guidance Levels are not regulatory limits for drinking water. Rather, the Draft Guidance Levels are benchmarks against which sampling results are compared to determine if additional investigation or other response action is necessary.
Illinois EPA testing has determined that one PFAS were detected in our water system at values greater than or equal to the Illinois EPA health-based Draft Guidance Levels, as provided in the table below.
Draft Guidance Level (ppt)
TP03 Collected 04/13/2021
TP03 Collected 04/28/2021
ND = Not Detected
ppt = part per trillion
a No toxicity criteria available
Our water may contain other PFAS at concentrations greater than or equal to the minimum reporting levels. However, neither the Illinois EPA nor the U.S. EPA currently have Draft Guidance Levels for these additional compounds. The Village of Fox Lake continues to meet all Federal and State drinking water standards and our water is safe to drink.
PFAS are present in many consumer goods, including food packaging and personal care products, and scientists have found values of PFAS in blood of nearly all individuals tested. Exposure to high levels of PFAS may cause adverse health effects such as increased cholesterol levels, increased risk for thyroid disease, low infant birth weights, reduced response to vaccines, pregnancy-induced hypertension and increased risk of liver and kidney cancer as seen in studies of laboratory animals. Exposure to PFAS above the recommended Draft Guidance Levels does not guarantee that a person will become ill or an adverse health effect will occur. Draft Guidance Levels are conservative estimates. The possible health effects from PFAS are dependent on how much a person is exposed to and how long they are exposed to it. Exposure to PFAS above recommended Draft Guidance Levels for periods of time may mean that a person is at a greater risk of experiencing these adverse effects.
The Village of Fox Lake is taking measures to respond to the results of this testing. As a proactive measure(s) to protect our customers, the Village is making this public notice on the Village website to help educate our customers on the potential health effects of PFAS. The Village of Fox Lake is also working to expand testing of all the Villages water wells and finished water to identify the source of the PFOA. The Village will work with the Illinois EPA to develop a plan to monitor, treat and mitigate PFAS from the drinking water.
Additional information regarding PFAS, the statewide PFAS investigation network, and the impact to public health can be found in the attached fact sheet as well as on the Illinois EPA PFAS webpage: https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/water-quality/pfas/Pages/default.aspx
The confirmed sampling results for the Village of Fox Lake are also available on Illinois EPA’s Drinking Water Watch system at http://water.epa.state.il.us/dww/index.jsp
If you have questions, please contact:
Village of Fox Lake
Kealan Noonan, Public Works Director 847-587-8570
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Barb Lieberoff, Office of Community Relations 217-524-3038
Illinois Department of Public Health
Brian Koch, Division of Environmental Health 217-782-5830