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Water supply not contaminated near Cortland MHC

Published: Thursday, April 3, 2014 11:44 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, April 4, 2014 12:04 a.m. CST

DeKALB – Raw sewage that was pumped onto the ground at Cortland MHC mobile home park did not affect drinking water at a nearby veterinary office last week, test results revealed.

State and local health officials said that for weeks, raw sewage spewed onto the ground from a system attached to a failing septic tank at the park owned by Chicago-based Zeman Homes. Sewage seeped into the adjacent Mound Rest Cemetery, the Cortland Animal Hospital and the ditch between the park and Route 38 before local health department officials stopped the pumping March 21.

According to Greg Maurice, the director of environmental protection for the DeKalb County Health Department, a sample taken from the drinking water supplied by a private well to the Cortland Animal Hospital did not show any contaminants.

“We were concerned about it, which is why we tested it,” Maurice said. “We will continue to do more sampling, but what we know now is the drinking water is satisfactory.”

Fecal coliform bacteria and e. coli were detected in three samples taken from standing water near the system designed to pump sewage out of a septic tank and onto the ground, the swale between the mobile home park and the veterinary office and near the veterinary office’s well.

“We knew sewage was there, so it confirmed what we knew,” Maurice said.

Maurice estimated several thousand gallons of untreated sewage were pumped onto the ground in the mobile home park at 300 S. Somonauk Road.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office is considering legal action against the park owners at the request of the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

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