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WATCH NOW: La Valle tap water safe to drink, treatment system in place as village plans new well
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WATCH NOW: La Valle tap water safe to drink, treatment system in place as village plans new well

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Village officials in La Valle announced April 8 its tap water is safe to drink after a treatment system was hooked up to the well to filter a high concentration of benzene detected in its water system. Officials estimate the system will be in place for about a year as the village constructs a new well.

LA VALLE — Water in La Valle is safe to drink after the village installed a system to remove high concentrations of benzene detected in the well.

La Valle installed a temporary Granular Activated Carbon treatment system to remove benzene from the drinking water in March, the village announced on its Facebook page April 8. The treatment system is currently online and the water system has been flushed of benzene, according to the village.

“The water supply entering the distribution system after the installation of the treatment system has been found to contain no detectable concentrations of benzene,” according to the Facebook post.

The water can be used for drinking and cooking. Residents using the water should flush the cold-water faucet for 2 to 5 minutes before using it, according to the post.

La Valle accepts $86,000 bid for water filtration system connection

In March 2021, the level of benzene in La Valle’s drinking water was as high as 151 micrograms per liter. Samples taken on April 2 from the southwest and southeast ends of the distribution system show benzene at 1.41 micrograms per liter and 1.39 micrograms per liter, respectively. This indicates the water in La Valle’s distribution system is now below the maximum contaminant level for benzene at 5 micrograms per liter.

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Since December, residents have been unable to drink the village’s tap water due to the high amounts of benzene detected in the water. Benzene is a component of gasoline used in production of a wide variety of products including plastics, resins, dyes, detergents, pesticides, lubricants and more.

WATCH NOW: La Valle residents continue to receive water from village as officials work to resolve benzene issue

The village had been distributing bottled water to residents. With the water now safe to drink, Village President Rockie Sobeck said bottled water distribution efforts will no longer continue.

Sobeck said it’s a good feeling all residents finally have safe drinking water.

“It’s a relief at this point,” he said. “We’re just thankful that the system is working the way it should and the people are back on using the water.”

Sobeck said the water will be tested with the new treatment system on a monthly basis, sometimes more, to make sure it’s removing the chemical. Sobeck said the system will be used for at least a year as the village plans a more long-term solution with constructing a new well.

La Valle residents unable to use tap water due to benzene

He said the village doesn’t know where the benzene is coming from and won’t know until the current well is taken offline and no longer in use. An investigation will take place once the current well is shut down and replaced by the newly constructed one, he said.

“Until we can have a new well in place running we cannot afford to shut down the well to find out where it is coming from,” Sobeck said.

Property has been acquired for the new well. However, more aspects need to be completed including testing to make sure quality water is available at the spot, drilling, sampling and the construction of the well, he said.

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.


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