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Water Quality FAQ

On April 1, 2024, an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) notice was sent to Shorewood water customers regarding the Unregulated Contaminates testing of Shorewood's water. While our water is safe and tested negative for PFAS, we wanted to answer recent inquiries and provide further information regarding the test and test results.

To put your mind at ease, the water is not contaminated and is safe to drink!

Unregulated Contaminants Letter Q&A for Residents of Shorewood

Is the Shorewood water safe to drink?

Yes, it is!

Why did I receive this letter about the test results of the UCMR5 Unregulated Contaminates?

Shorewood Public Works was required by USEPA to send this letter to inform you that we mandatorily participated in the EPA UCMR5 sampling and lab testing procedure in 2023. The content of the letter can be seen below:

Special Notice for Availability of Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Data

Availability of Monitoring Data for Unregulated Contaminants for the Village of Shorewood Illinois.

Our water system has been sampled for a series of unregulated contaminants. Unregulated contaminants are those that don’t yet have a drinking water standard set by EPA. The purpose of monitoring for these contaminants is to help the EPA decide whether the contaminants should have a standard. As our customers, you have a right to know that these data are available. If you are interested in examining the results, please contact the Village of Shorewood Public Works at (815) 553-2321 or by mail, at 25914 W. Mound Rd. Shorewood, IL 60404.

This notice is being sent to you by the Village of Shorewood Illinois.
Water System ID#: 197-5080.
Date distributed: 4/1/2024.
What is UCMR5 Unregulated Contaminates testing?

As part of its responsibilities under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implements Section 1445(a) (2), Monitoring Program for Unregulated Contaminants. SDWA requires that once every five years, EPA issues a list of priority unregulated contaminants to be monitored by certain public water systems across States, Tribes, and Territories. These contaminants may be present in drinking water but are not yet subject to EPA drinking water standards. Under the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR), EPA collects nationally representative drinking water occurrence data to support EPA’s future regulatory determinations and, as appropriate, assist in the development of national primary drinking water regulations (NPDWRs). For each UCMR cycle, EPA establishes a new list of contaminants for monitoring, specifies which systems are required to monitor, identifies the sampling locations, and defines the analytical methods to be used. On December 17, 2021, EPA Administrator Michael Regan signed the final "Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) for Public Water Systems" and the rule was subsequently published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2021 (86 FR 73131). The 5-year UCMR 5 cycle spans 2022 – 2026, with preparations in 2022, sample collection from 2023 – 2025, and completion of data reporting in 2026. (EPA Statement)

Why does Shorewood need to participate?

Which water systems will participate in UCMR 5? Section 2021 of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA) (Public Law 115-270) amended SDWA and specifies that, subject to the availability of EPA appropriations for such purpose and sufficient laboratory capacity, EPA must require all public water systems serving between 3,300 and 10,000 people to monitor and ensure that a nationally representative sample of systems serving fewer than 3,300 people monitor for the contaminants in UCMR 5 and future UCMR cycles. Systems serving a population of more than 10,000 people (large systems) continue to be responsible for participating in the UCMR program. (EPA Statement)

What Unregulated Contaminates were included in the 2023 UCMR5 testing?
UCMR 5 will provide new data that will improve the agency’s understanding of the frequency that 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and lithium are found in the nation’s drinking water systems, and at what levels. The monitoring data on PFAS and lithium will help the EPA make determinations about future regulations and other actions to protect public health under SDWA. The data will also ensure science-based decision-making, help the agency better understand whether these contaminants in drinking water disproportionally impact communities with environmental justice concerns, and allow the EPA, states, Tribes, and water systems to target solutions. (EPA Statement)
What were the results of this testing for Shorewood?

Unregulated Contaminates

Collection Date

Highest Level Detected

Range of Levels Detected




Likely Source of Contamination




 17.3 – 27.9  




Lithium is a naturally occurring metal in the Earth’s crust.








Fire Extinguishing Foam and Others.

What does < MRL mean?

Minimum Reporting Level.

The EPA established minimum reporting levels (MRLs) for lithium and the 29 PFAS included in UCMR 5. The EPA establishes MRLs to ensure consistency in the quality of the information reported to the agency. UCMR MRLs are determined using data from multiple laboratories that participate in EPA’s UCMR MRL-setting studies and are not associated with contaminant health effects information. (EPA Statement)

Why didn’t Shorewood just send us the test results?
As you can see in the second question of this brief, EPA provided a template letter for us to send to all of our residents since the actual lab report is very extensive and covers many pages. The table above is the abbreviated results as you will see them in our Consumer Confidence Report, which will be available in May of 2024.
Where can I see a copy of the lab results?
These are available at Shorewood Village Hall and Public Works facilities.
Should I be at all concerned with my water at this time?
NO! If there should ever be any cause for concern regarding the Public Water Supply in the Village of Shorewood, we will notify you immediately.