Mapleton, IL - Questions of water safety in the Village of Mapleton. Letters were sent to residents starting about a year ago, alerting them to high levels of copper in the drinking water.
"I refuse to drink it, it's bad enough I gotta shower in it , let alone drink it" said Brad Rusterholz, a Mapleton board member.
When the Illinois EPA was testing water levels in Mapleton, it found high levels of copper in certain parts of the village.
Mapleton board member Mark Brining said he got a notice from the EPA alerting him of the issue.
"Not having enough orthophosphates is making the copper levels leech out into the water and made us fail the test" said Mark Brining, a Mapleton board member.
Brining said the levels are harmful, but not deadly. Shortly after, the board sent letters to residents with their water bills to alert them.
"It's not unsafe to drink; in our recommendations in that letter it says do not do any cooking or preparation with food from your hot water tap because the water sitting in the hot water tank is sitting in there longer which allows things to happen" said Brining.
Mapleton's water engineer Stan Bersin said people affected by this were notified.
"We're finding at some locations in the distribution system at peoples houses, at very few locations, that this level of copper is above what the agency is calling the action level" said Bersin.
Bersin submitted a recommendation to add orthophosphates to Mapleton's water, which puts a coating on the inside of copper pipes, preventing them from seeping into the water.
"What we don't want to have happen is copper pipes leaching copper into the water. This happens at some places where they've got older fixtures, older copper pipes in the homes" said Bersin.
Brining said he drinks filtered water, as he prefers the taste.
"I have never drank the water from the tap in the 15 years that I've lived here, but that's not to say it's not safe" said Brining.
Drinking water with too much copper can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps and nausea. The Illinois EPA has to approve Mapleton's request to add orthophosphates to the water before the village can do so.
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