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Illinois Department of Public Health Recommends Water Well Testing for Private Wells Near Watseka

News – Monday, February 7, 2022

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is advising residents who obtain their drinking water from private wells in the Watseka area (Iroquois County) to test their water for possible groundwater contamination.  Routine testing of Watseka’s community water supply wells by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) indicates contaminants could be present in the area’s private wells.

The contaminant vinyl chloride was detected in one of Watseka’s community water supply wells at levels exceeding the Illinois groundwater quality standard.  This groundwater also serves private wells in the area and it is possible that nearby private wells may be affected.

Residents with private wells located within 1500 feet of the 800 block of East Walnut Street are encouraged to have their water tested for volatile organic compounds by a private laboratory.

For a list of laboratories certified to analyze drinking water for volatile organic compounds, interpretation of test results, contaminant health effects information, and recommendations for individuals who regularly consume well water, please contact Michael Flanagan, IDPH Champaign Regional Office, 2125 South First Street, Champaign, IL. 61820 by phone at (217)-840-0418 or by email at

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has set a maximum contaminant level as an annual average of 2 parts per billion (ppb) of vinyl chloride for public drinking water supplies, a level equivalent to the Illinois groundwater quality standard which also applies to private well users.  Years of exposure to levels of vinyl chloride at or above 2 ppb may lead to an increased risk of liver cancer.

No violations of State of Illinois or federal drinking water standards have occurred in Watseka’s community water supply.  For information concerning the community water supply, please contact Jeff Guy at (217)-785-8724 or via email at

This information has been compiled from historic data and is provided to the public to ensure full disclosure of state records.