E. coli detected in village of Plainfield water on Wednesday, staff unaware until Friday

21 samples taken on Friday were negative, more samples taken Saturday

Staff at the village Plainfield were unaware that its water supply was contaminated with E. coli until Friday.

In a statement on his public Facebook page Saturday, Mayor John Argoudelis said the testing company was aware the water tested positive for “unacceptable levels” E. coli on Wednesday.

The testing company did a follow-up test per Illinois Environmental Protection Agency protocol but did not alert Argoudelis and his staff until Friday, according to Argoudelis.

The village issued a boil order on Friday. The boil water applies only to Plainfield customers, according to a news release from the village on Sunday.

Argoudelis said in his statement that 21 additional water samples were taken Friday and they were negative for E. coli.

Forty more samples were taken Saturday. Test results are expected to come back Sunday. Forty more samples will be taken Monday, Argoudelis said.

“If these also come back negative we will be able to lift the boil order very quickly thereafter and this would appear to then be an aberration,” Argoudelis said in his statement. “We have also tested our ground storage and all but one of our water towers thus far – all are clean with no E. coli or coliform.”

The presence of coliform bacteria indicates the possible presence of E. coli, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In addition, the village also flushed its hydrants and increased the level of chlorine at all its pumping facilities, according to a village news release on Sunday.

The village won’t lift the boil order until “two sets of 40 samples are determined satisfactory,” the release said.

Illinois American Water said in a statement Friday that the village of Plainfield’s boil order does not impact the other communities Illinois American Water serves.

Denise  Unland

Denise M. Baran-Unland

Denise M. Baran-Unland is the features editor for The Herald-News in Joliet. She covers a variety of human interest stories. She also writes the long-time weekly tribute feature “An Extraordinary Life about local people who have died. She studied journalism at the College of St. Francis in Joliet, now the University of St. Francis.