Rockton drinking water notice blamed on reporting error

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 7:34 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A notice sent to Rockton residents alerting them of a violation in their drinking water supply was sparked by a reporting error, according to Village President John Peterson.

“I was a little puzzled when I first got it earlier today,” said Tonya Morgan, owner of Truly Treasured Gift n Thrift. “But I am glad they are taking care of any issues with the water.”

Peterson said there was a violation, but there is nothing wrong with Rockton’s drinking water. It’s safe, he said. Explained in the notice, the error had to do with a deadline to file a survey about how the village’s plan to replace lead water pipes.

The village was required to file the survey by April 1. Rockton officials filed it after that date.

“The survey was late getting sent in to the state,” Peterson said. “And because the survey was late getting sent to the state, it’s a violation. An we have to notify everybody that we didn’t get the survey in.”

The survey is part of the Illinois Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act, a law that took effect Jan. 1, 2022. It requires municipalities to locate and replace all lead water pipes.

Peterson said the village is already in the process of doing that.

“It’s an ongoing process where we are testing pipes, and we remove them and replace them,” he said. “It’s a big focus and it should be a big focus.”

The report Rockton was late filing was only a survey of its overall plan. State law requires all municipalities to submit a draft of their plan in 2024 and their final blueprints by 2027.

The act covers more than 660,000 lead pipes and nearly a million made of unknown galvanized materials.