IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT LEAD IN YOUR DRINKING WATER
The City of Elgin found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes/buildings in our community. Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and children 6 years and younger. Please read the following notice closelyto see what you can do to reduce lead in your drinking water and to learn what the City of Elgin is doing to address this problem.
The Lead & Copper Rule requires that Elgin test tap water in 100 homes with lead plumbing, twice per year. Recently elevated lead levels were observed in a subset of the homes sampled. The IEPA requires this notice be provided to all customers.
Call us at 311 (or 847-931-6001) for more information.
La Ley de Plomo y Cobre requiere que la Ciudad de Elgin analice el agua potable dos veces al año en 100 hogares con líneas hechas de plomo. De los hogares que participaron en la prueba, se encontraron niveles elevados de plomo en algunos de ellos. La IEPA requiere que se proporcione el siguiente aviso a todos los clientes:
Para obtener información, llame al 311 (847-931-6001)
The City of Elgin provides fresh, clean water to residential and business locations throughout Elgin. Consumers enjoy water that is safe for drinking, cooking and bathing on a daily basis. In fact, the water supplied by the City meets all Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) standards, including those for lead. The City of Elgin is dedicated to providing water that is clean and safe for you to use. If you have any questions at all please call 311 (847-931-6001 if outside Elgin), and staff can provide you with the assistance and information you need.
What is Lead?
Lead is a naturally occurring mineral found in small amounts of the earth’s crust. When consumed in high levels, it can be toxic to humans and animals.
Lead and Drinking Water
Lead is NOT present in Elgin’s source water (wells and river water), nor is lead in Elgin’s treated drinking water. However, if buildings have water service lines made of lead, lead can enter the drinking water through the corrosion of plumbing materials.
Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder. However, newer homes may also be at risk because legally "lead free" plumbing may contain up to 8% lead.
In January 2014, changes to the Safe Drinking Water Act further reduced the maximum allowable lead contents of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fixtures and fittings to 0.25%. Brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures with lead solder are the most common source from which lead can enter the water, especially in hot water.
How the City 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.
What you Should Know about Lead and Drinking Water
The City of Elgin is required to notify customers (residents and businesses) whenever water mains, water meters or water service lines are replaced or repaired. This is because of the possibility that the work being performed could result in the disturbance of sediment, possibly containing lead that could get into the water.
The notification is for informational purposes only. While it is not known for certain whether or not replacement or repair will adversely affect the lead (if present) in plumbing in and outside of your home, flushing your water lines is a recommended preventative measure to potentially reduce the amount of lead in your water.
It is advised that you flush your water lines for at least 5 minutes once the work is completed. This includes removing and cleaning the faucet aerator screens.
Steps to Reduce Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water
Despite our best efforts mentioned earlier to control water corrosivity and remove lead from the water supply, lead can still be present in some homes or buildings. Advice for lead safe water practices include:
The city recommends using a water filter certified to NSF/ANSI standard 42 for particulate reduction in addition to NSF/ANSI 53 for removal of lead if your home contains lead plumbing, particularly for formula-fed infants and vulnerable populations.. For information on how to receive a free water filter click here.
Before using any tap water for drinking or cooking, flush your water systems by running the kitchen tap (or any other tap you take drinking or cooking water from) on COLD for at least 5 minutes.
Remove and clean faucet aerators regularly to eliminate any debris such as metal particulates.
Test water in houses with older plumbing. Information on testing can be found here.
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