Presented by Amy Walkenbach, Illinois EPA
February 2, 2012
Illinois citizens value the lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater of the state and expect that the quality of the water will be protected for the beneficial uses we want to make of it: sources of drinking water, recreation, support of healthy aquatic life communities, and fish that are safe to eat. Federal and state water quality requirements have achieved significant improvements in water quality over the past decades, much of that progress has been due to control of “point sources” of water pollution. “Non-point source” water pollution, controlled through non-regulatory programs, continues to be a challenge. Illinois, like many states, faces ongoing issues from precipitation-driven water pollution and from particular pollutants such as nutrients and chlorides. Illinois is a leader in groundwater protection, yet struggles with increasing trends of volatile organic chemicals in groundwater. There is a diversity of water quality issues faced by communities, farmers, industries and the public every day.