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The City of Evanston’s Water Quality Laboratory announced that it has received a perfect score in a state audit of the facility for the fourth time in a row.

The lab is audited every two years by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The audit consists of an onsite evaluation in which procedures, records and equipment are inspected. More than 200 different criteria must be met in order to be in perfect compliance with zero deviations. 

“This perfect score highlights the commitment of the City of Evanston and our staff to maintaining the highest level of quality, safe drinking water to our community and several other Illinois communities,” said Utilities Department Director Dave Stoneback. “Evanston’s tap water continuously receives high marks for following federally and locally mandated water standards.”

The IDPH certifies labs for bacteriological parameters in the State of Illinois, while the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency certifies laboratories for the analysis of chemical substances. In 2011, more than 30 regulatory changes were made that impacted policies, records and procedures. 

The lab is staffed by full-time chemist Eleanore Meade and microbiologist Alfredo Diaz-Mazarredo. In addition, waterplant operators work around the clock to ensure the quality of the water continually.

“Once again Eleanore Meade and her staff are to be commended on their dedication to excellence as was made evident by their Q.C. procedures, record maintenance and technical skills. The effort to generate quality data from this lab is apparent. Congratulations on receiving zero deviations,” the official IDPH audit reported.

The Evanston Water Treatment Plant has the capacity to supply up to 108 million gallons per day. It serves more than 350,000 residents in Evanston, Skokie and the Northwest Water Commission (Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine and Wheeling).

“As we near National Drinking Water Week, May 5-11, this is a great opportunity to remind residents that not only is our tap water better for you, it is better for the environment. Plastic water bottles produced for U.S. consumption take 1.5 million barrels of oil per year, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. That much energy could power 250,000 homes or fuel 100,000 cars for a year,” said Mr. Stoneback.