An Evanston community group, James Park Neighbors, will present a petition to Evanston’s Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl at the City Council Meeting on Monday November 14, 2106 at 7:00 pm. The Council meets at the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Avenue in Evanston.

The petition urges the City to remove water mains contaminated by coal tar. Water from the homes in the affected area have tested positive for the byproducts of coal tar, fluoranthene and phenanthrene, known carcinogens.

According to the City of Evanston’s website: (

 “On May 31, 2016, the City of Evanston re-filed a lawsuit in the Northern District Court of Illinois against Nicor and ComEd regarding materials found inside and around water lines in south Evanston.  While the materials found pose no hazard today to drinking water or in any other way to the community, the City believes these materials were brought to the area by now abandoned gas lines used in the early to mid-20th Century”

Citizens in the affected area have signed a letter to the City requesting the following:

1.      Prioritize regular communication with southwest Evanston residents regarding the safety of our drinking water and the plans to eliminate the contamination that flows to our homes through water mains and pipes.  

2.      Testing our water, on demand, for the Manufactured Gas contaminates namely phenanthrene and fluoranthene.

3.      Providing appropriate water filtration for our home drinking water supplies for all area residents by the end of 2016.

4.      Immediate investigation and determination of the extent of internal and external contamination of the water mains servicing southwest Evanston.

5.      Prioritize the funding and the replacement of all contaminated water mains.

In the summer of 2015 the City of Evanston replaced a portion of the contaminated water on Dodge Avenue. Water testing during July of this year showed that area homes serviced by the new water main tested negative for the carcinogens. During the same testing a number of homes still serviced by old water mains and an elementary school tested positive for the carcinogens. For this reason area residents have called upon the city to repair the water mains and provide the same quality of water as the rest of Evanston drinks.