The Public Works Department has recently been receiving calls from residents about instances of cloudy or rusty water occurring in the Ridgewood subdivision. The location of the Ridgewood subdivision is the furthest subdivision from any of the Village's water towers and subsequently water circulation through the pipes may not be as prevalent during the day due to the distance and the low volume of people in the subdivision during daylight hours. Sampling at several resident houses and at several hydrants in the subdivision indicate that there is a low chlorine residual in the southwest portions of the subdivision.
Over the past two weeks Village staff has had several calls with our engineers and with M.E. Simpson, the firm who conducted the leak detection for the Village this year. An additional conference call was held this morning with engineers to review the latest information. While there have been several main breaks in the Ridgewood subdivision this year evidence at this point does not appear to indicate that there is a water main break causing the issue. Public Works crews conducted a survey of the subdivision twice last week and once this week and found no indication of a water main break at this time.
There appears to be increased levels of iron in the water in the Ridgewood subdivision and staff believes that the chlorine in the water is oxidizing with this iron. This would result in the lower than normal chlorine residuals that are being observed, as well as the increased rust colored water. Staff conducted an investigative hydrant flushing on Thursday, June 20th and a full hydrant flushing of the west section of Ridgewood on Monday, June 24th to attempt to flush out any iron from the system and increase the residual. We are currently monitoring the results of that flushing and adjustments to our chemical process at the water plant will also be taking place in the next week or so to see if that makes a measurable impact upon the chlorine residual.
The chlorine residual going out to distribution from the water plant is at the recommended levels of 0.2 mg/L and Forest Hills and Springdale, which feed Ridgewood appear to have acceptable chlorine residual levels. Water samples taken at several resident’s homes and at the hydrants all came back negative for any bacteriological agent and are safe for drinking. The water continues to meet state and federal safe drinking standards and is safe to drink based upon our bacteria testing.
The Village is continuing to fully investigate the water quality issues in Ridgewood at this time and will continue to monitor the water quality as it searches for the cause of the increased iron.
If there are any changes to the water quality that lead the Village to believe that it is unsafe for drinking, the Village will notify the residents of Ridgewood immediately via our CodeRED system. The Village at this point is continuing its investigation into the reports of cloudy or rust colored water and will provide updated information as it becomes available.