The City of Elgin is committed to providing clean, safe and reliable drinking water to all Elgin residents. Lead is not present in Elgin’s source water (wells and river water), nor is lead in Elgin’s treated drinking water. Some homes and buildings, however, have water service lines, solder or fixtures made of lead, and lead can enter the drinking water through the corrosion of plumbing materials.
How the City of Elgin reduces exposure to lead in drinking water
For the past 10 years, the City has been replacing the public portion of a lead water service line (water main to b-box/shut-off valve) when residents commit to replacing their privately owned portion of the lead service line (b-box/shut-off valve to home/building).
In 2018, the City created a new program to complete full service line replacements at properties impacted by underground construction.
The City has committed the majority of its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to replace lead water service lines. For Elgin, approximately 13,500 lead service lines will need to be replaced within the next 40 years with an estimated cost of at least $135 million. The $13.5 million in ARPA funds will assist this effort.
To prevent lead pipe corrosion, the City adjusts the pH and alkalinity of the water so that it forms a scale on the inside of lead pipes to help prevent the lead from leaching into the water.
The City is currently conducting a Corrosion Control Study (CCS) to help determine if there are any additional adjustments that the City can make to the water treatment process.