Lake Michigan Water FAQs

To assist residents in better understanding how the transition to Lake Michigan water will affect their water quality and their homes, below are some frequently asked questions that help to address what to expect with the transition to Lake Michigan water.

Do I still need my water softener now that we receive Lake Michigan water?

Historically, as communities have made the switch to Lake Michigan water most residents have made the decision to stop using their water softeners.  However, the answer to this question depends on why you purchased your softener in the first place.  

  • If you purchased your water softener to keep your pipes from plugging up with scale, you no longer need it.  Lake Michigan water does not typically clog water pipes.  
  • If you purchased your water softener to reduce the amount of scale or lime that builds up on your faucet or around sinks and tubs, you will find this problem greatly diminished with Lake Michigan water.  
  • If you purchased your softener to remove iron from your water, you no longer need it. Lake Michigan contains almost no iron.
  • If you purchased your softener because you want to use less detergent or soap, you will find that with Lake Michigan water, you will use much less detergent and soap than you did with well water.
  • Click HERE to view the CLCJAWA Water Softening fact sheet. 

If you are considering purchasing a water softener, please consider these things:

  • A water softener will remove the calcium and magnesium (hardness) from your tap water.  These essential minerals will be replaced with sodium (salt) in your tap water.  While this does not improve the health-related aspects of your tap water, it will cut down slightly on soap and detergent use.
  • A water softener does eliminate any scale from building up around your kitchen and bathroom fixtures, but most people feel the amount of scale that does form around their faucets is so minimal that the expense of a softener is not worth the cost.
  • Water softeners do increase the corrosiveness of water and are often implicated in increased lead and copper levels in homes with these plumbing materials.
  • Finally, if you decide to purchase a water softener, please invest the time to flush it out after being away for more than a few days. This will reduce the number of nuisance bacteria that are present inside stagnant softener tanks.

Do I need a water filter?

No.  The water you receive from your tap is safe to drink and has already been filtered through granular activated carbon and fine sand. The water produced by CLCJAWA is more than five times clearer than required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  If you are sensitive to chlorine in your water, a carbon filter will remove all chlorine.  Carbon filters must be consistently maintained to minimize bacteriological contamination of your water.  If your immune system is compromised in any way, ask your doctor about any precautions you should take when drinking bottled or tap water.

Does the water that we receive from CLCJAWA contain fluoride?

Yes.  In Illinois, the Department of Public Health requires that water suppliers add fluoride to water to provide children with one of the building blocks needed for strong teeth.  CLCJAWA only adds what is required.

What else is in the water we receive from CLCJAWA?

Unlike many water utilities and most water bottlers, CLCJAWA tests for hundreds more compounds than required by law.  For a complete listing of compounds detected in the CLCJAWA water supply, please visit www.clcjawa.com .  If you have a concern about a specific compound not on the list please contact CLCJAWA at 847-295-7788.

Does the water we receive from CLCJAWA contain lead?

The water that CLCJAWA delivers to each community contains no detectable lead.  Lead in tap water typically comes from the private service pipe that enters a home or through the plumbing within the home.  Newer homes typically do not have lead service pipes or lead containing plumbing.  Homeowners that are unsure if they have a lead service or lead containing plumbing should consult with a licensed plumber to determine their specific situation.

CLCJAWA does add a drinking water certified corrosion inhibitor called orthophosphate to the water supply.  This common drinking water and food ingredient binds with metals like lead to keep them from corroding and getting into your water from your plumbing. This compound reduces lead in many homes but does not remove it completely from all homes or to levels considered safe in some homes.  If you have questions or concerns regarding lead or would like additional information, please visit the U.S. Environmental Agency website at www.epa.gov/lead, call the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD(5323) or contact your health care provider.