Where does my water come from?
The source for all Village water is Lake Michigan. The Village purchases it from Oak Lawn.
Why does my water sometimes smell or taste like chlorine?
Chlorine is added to drinking water for several reasons. Firt and foremost, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and teh Untied States Environmental Protection Agency require that all water plants disinfect the water. The Chicago Water Department uses chlorine for this peurpoase. Second, a minimal amount of chlorine is added to assure that the water remains safe as it travels from the treatment plant to your home. A few individuals, who are sensitive to chlorine, can detect the chloring taste and odor at these levels.
What do you test for in the water?
The Village of Olympia Fields strives to deliver a consistent, high quality, drinking water. Many steps must be taken to attain this goal. Daily monitoring is conducted at all three receiving stations. Numerous water samples are collected throught the village during the year to meet State and Federal water quality requirements.
Click here to see the most recent Water Quality Report.
How can I have my water tested?
Services for water testing are available from private laboratories for a fee. This fee varies greatly depending on the number of constituents you would like tested for. To obtain a booklet of qualified laboratories, call the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Division of Laboratories, at (217) 782-6455.
Do water filters work and should I use one?
As with most products, some filters works better than others. There are many types of filters available, each type works differently and will remove different substances from the water. It will be very helpful for you to know exactly why you want to filter the water before you speak to the seller of water treatment devices. If you choose to filter your water, there are several resources available to you to assist in choosing a filter that works prooperly and will meet your needs. Consumer Reports Magazine occasionally will compare types of water filters and explain which types will remove which constituents. They also compare various models and report on which ones works the best. A list of National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) approved water treatment devices is available by calling the NSF at (800) 673-8010. Regardless if you choose to use a water filter or not, the water provided by the Village of Olympia Fields meets all State and Federal drinking water standards.
How hard is my water and should I use a water softner?
Dissolved minerals make water hard; as the amount of minerals in the water increases, the water becomes harder. Two common minerals found dissolved in drinking water are calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. There is ususally much more of calcium carbonate than magnesium carbonate present in water; therefore, water hardness is reported as the amount of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) dissolved in water.
Water softening is the process of removing the minerals from the water and is commonly accomplished by either reverse osmosis filtration or ion exchange. Reverse osmosis filtration units can handle only small volumes of water and is usually performed at a single point of use, such as the kitchen sink. Ion exchange units can handle large volumes of water and are usually installed on the incoming water supply line to a property. Ion exchange systems exchange sodium ions for the calcium and magnesium ions in the water.
Do I have radon in the water?
No. Radon is virtually non-detectable in surface water supplies such as Lake Michigan.
Why does my water get milky white?
Milky white water, also commonly described as cloudy, hazy, soapy or foamy, is almost always caused by air in the water. One of the many properties of water is its ability to dissolve gases, including air. Sometimes the air escapes from the water in the form of many tiny bubbles; this gives the water a milky white appearance.
To see if the white color in the water is due to air, fill a clear glass with water and set it up on the counter. Observe the glass of water for two to three minutes. If the white color is due to air, the water will gebin to clear at the bottom of the glass first, and then gradually will clear all the way to the top. This is a natural phenomenon and is completely normal; the water is safe to use. This can happen when the water gets cold, or whenever the water has been turned off for repairs. Cold water holds more dissolved air then warmer water. As the water moves through the water mains in the street and the pipes in your house, it begins to warm up and lose some of its ability to keep the air dissolved. However, because the water is under pressure in the pipes, the air remains in the water. When you relieve the pressure by opening the faucet and filling your glass with water, the air is now free to escape from the water, giving it a milky appearance for a few minutes. This same set of circumstances is also why you will often see that your hot water is cloudy.
Another way for this milky white water to form is after your water utility has worked on a water main or you have had work done on your plumbing. When the water is shut off, air can get into the water main or your pipes. When the water pressure is restored, some of that air dissolves into the water. When you again relieve the pressure by opening the faucet and filling your glass, the air is now free to escape from the water thus giving it a milky white appearance for a few minutes.
If your water is cloudy or milky white in appearance and it does not clear in a glass after five minutes, you should contact the Public Works Department at (708) 503-8200.
Why are there water restrictions?
As a contractual condition of receiving Lake Michigan water each utility has to enact indoor and outdoor water restrictions. The indoor water restrictions include plumbing codes that require the installation of water conserving fixtures. Outdoor water restrictions include such things as restricting water sprinkling during the hottest time of the day to minimize evaporation.
Many customers might think that because we are supplied with lake water, watering restrictions are unnecessary. This is not the case. Contractually, we are restricted to how much we can obtain, and like the other end users of lake water, outside watering restrictions are mandated.
Restrictions on lawn sprinkling and other water usages are in effect from May 15 through September 15 each year. If the last digit in your street address is odd, you may sprinkle on odd calendar days. If it is even, sprinkle on even calendar days.
On your designated days, sprinkle only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., or 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Violators of water use restrictions are subject to fines. In drought situations, these hours may be curtailed further. The latest watering schedule is available at (708) 503-8200.
Who should I contact for billing questions?
For questions regarding your water bill, please contact the Water Department at (708) 503-8000.
Who should I contact regarding my water pipes or water meter?
For questions regarding your high meter reads or water pipes, please contact the Department of Public Works at (708) 503-8200.