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Deerfield issues boil order after fecal bacteria found in water

The village of Deerfield has issued a boil order for all residents until further notice after fecal coliform bacteria was found in the water supply.

This bacteria can make you sick and is of particular concern for people with weakened immune systems, according to village officials.

“We anticipate it will be resolved in 48 hours,” said Andrew Lichterman, assistant to the village manager.

Residents should bring all water to a boil for one minute and let it cool before using or use bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation until further notice, village officials said.

The presence of fecal coliform and E. coli bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. They can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms. Residents experiencing any symptoms are advised to seek medical attention. The village learned about this at 1 p.m. today and officials don’t know the source of it yet, Lichterman said. The bacteria issue was discovered through regular, random sampling. Village hall staff and the Illinois EPA take turns sampling drinking water, Lichterman said.

Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water, for instance following heavy rains. It can also happen due to breaks in the pipes, a failure in the water treatment process, or through a cross connection. “A lot of these things just cycle out,” Lichterman said.

The village will be performing 10 tests over the next 24 hours, officials said. Deerfield residents will be informed when the tests show no bacteria and they no longer need to boil water.

For more information contact the Deerfield Department of Public Works and Engineering at 847-317-7245 or email at

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