Public Data Shows Hundreds of Chemicals in Tap Water

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Safe, plentiful drinking water is vital to all of us. It means our own health. It is also important to the economic health of our area. Of 42 states tested by the environmental working group our state was one of the worst.

Only nine states have worse drinking water conditions. The main source of Illinois' contaminants is around U.S. farm fields.

Rockford's superintendent of the water division, Tim Holdeman, says, "The state of Illinois is highly agricultural as a state, with pesticides and fertilizers that are a result of those rural farming communities."

Rockford's H20 is like all water supplies in the state that's overseen by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Every month Rockford has to summit water samples to the EPA to check for any harmful chemicals.

Water experts say, "We sample for about 150 chemical compounds that includes bacterial samples, and iron hardness."

While many water systems have those farm contaminants to deal with, Rockford's problems come from right below the streets and homes from the iron and radium, which develops in and around the sometimes century-old underground water pipe system. A proposal has been presented to the Rockford city council to make big improvements and help eliminate this problem.

For anyone wanting to know what's in their water, check out the municipal water department Web site or give them a call.