Cloudy Water

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Drinking water delivered through the village’s system can sometimes look "milky" or "cloudy." This cloudiness often occurs when air becomes trapped in the water. While this may impact the water's appearance, it does not affect the water's safety and will not harm household plumbing systems.

How does air get into the water?
It can be introduced in many ways, including the water pumping process where you bring colder lake water up to the surface for treatment and distribution or water pipeline maintenance. This condition occurs most often when water is very cold and then warms up while in a building's interior piping. Cold water can hold more air than warm water. Therefore, some air comes out of solution as tiny air bubbles when the water warms up. At times the water may be so densely filled with air that the water appears cloudy.

Because water pipelines are pressurized, air remains trapped in the water until you open the faucet and release the pressure—similar to the effect created when you open a bottle of soda. The thousands of tiny air bubbles that form give the water a slightly white appearance.

How do I know if cloudiness is really because of air?
To see if the white color in the water is due to air, fill a clear glass with water and set it on the counter. Observe the glass of water for two or three minutes. If the white color is due to air, the water will begin 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.

Trapped air does not affect water quality.  It's important to understand that this cloudy appearance does not reduce the water's quality. Technicians collect and analyze hundreds of drinking water samples each year from throughout the Village’s system to ensure that tap water meets or surpasses the standards of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

If you have questions about the quality of your drinking water, please call the Public Works Water Division at 847-870-5640.

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