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Hinkley Springs Water Service and Chicago City Water

Last updated: January 24, 2018



Al Capone Chicago Homicide Illinois Pension Debt
Al Capone Chicago Homicide Rate (from this link). This doesn't include other types of gun violence. Illinois growth in pension debt since 2002. This graph is in billions.

Dr. Hain lives in Chicago -- known for Gangsters like Al Capone, murderous residents, and extremely high state debt and high taxes among other things. Among the many superlatives about Chicago, it holds the record for the highest sales tax in the US ! Roughly half of recent governers of Illinois have gone to Federal prison, generally for corruption. (Rod Blagojevich, George Ryan, Dan Walker, Otto Kerner). So as you can imagine, Chicago's and Illinois government is not known for being the best.

Lead levels
Lead levels in Chicago Residential water, from This link. 7.8% is at or below the suggested levels set in California.

Local Chicago residents also know that while Chicago water does not taste bad or smell bad, it is often found to have high levels of lead. For example, in a story about the Chicago Public schools in 2016, 113 schools (roughly 1/3) were found to have high levels in 8/2016. This amounted to 3% of the water fixtures in these schools.

This may relate to the history of Chicago where lead pipes were REQUIRED until 1986, the year lead pipes were banned nationwide. A reasonable inference is that if 1/3 of chicago public schools have high lead levels, 1/3 of Chicago residential tap water might also be high -- In 2015, One of the tests done on residential water detected lead at 120 ppb – eight times higher than the legal limit (of 15) under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. This page shows a pie-chart showing that roughly 1/3 of Chicago city water has lead levels > 3.8

According to the EPA, "there is no safe level of lead exposure". In other words, lead is toxic. Remember that lead poisoning was blamed for the fall of Ancient rome ?



(Chicago isn't Rome)

Well Chicago isn't Rome, eh ? Still, the City of Chicago is constantly working on infrastructure, including changes to lots of lead pipes. 80% of the service lines that connect up to water mains from homes, business and schools are made of lead. The process of replacing the mains increases the lead in city water, including not only the schools, but local residents. It does this with an pattern that appears to be random, often traced to City work on the water system such as for construction.

So it would seem prudent to avoid drinking Chicago city water.

With all of this motivation, one would think that bottled water would be "flying off the shelf".

Unfortunately, the one and only supplier of bottled water in Chicago, Hinkley Springs, has severe logistical issues. We pulled out of their delivery service, after a series of blunders. Water delivered to the wrong place, wrong time, and no method of controlling the flow.

It is difficult to even be sure if the Hinkley Springs water is not just Chicago tap water, lead and all. We recall that a water company related to Hinkley, Nestle, was sued for selling common ground water labeled as spring water. Amazingly enough, the suit alleges that none of the "Poland Spring Water's" eight purported "natural spring" sites contains a genuine spring. We wonder if the water sold by Hinkley called "spring water", is actually just Chicago tap water.

We do not know if our Chicago drinking water, such as used to make coffee or served in restaurants, is contaminated with lead, but it would seem to us, that there is no knowing what the City of Chicago may be doing, and it is probably best not to drink Chicago city water. By extension, it probably is unwise to drink anything made with Chicago water -- such as Starbucks Coffee. Or drink beer brewed in Chicago. I suppose it could be worse -- at least there are no parasites in the water like the Giardia they have in St. Petersburg. So having this little problem with toxic water makes Chicago more like Russia.



© Copyright January 24, 2018 , Timothy C. Hain, M.D. All rights reserved.
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