Lead in Drinking Water
The Village is dedicated to providing the highest quality drinking water to its customers in the most reliable and professional manner. The goal of Village officials and staff is to achieve complete consumer confidence in our drinking water supply by maintaining a premier water system and open communication with our customers. The Village of Lombard wants to assure its residents that Lombard’s water is safe to drink and exceeds all Federal and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Standards for drinking water. The most recent water quality report can be found at villageoflombard.org/waterqualityreport.
Important Information About Lead in Drinking Water
Water supplied from the Village of Lombard does NOT contain lead. However, through corrosion of household plumbing materials and fixtures, lead can leach into the water before it gets to you. Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead in their plumbing system.
Lombard, like all public water systems, is required to test for lead in drinking water every three years. The next cycle of routine testing for lead is July of 2020. In addition to the required testing, the Utilities Division of the Public Works Department elects to perform additional random water sampling throughout Lombard. We are committed to providing our residents with as much educational information as possible to assist residents in reducing exposure to lead in drinking water.
When older water service lines or plumbing fixtures are disturbed due to construction or maintenance, lead levels may temporarily increase in water. This disruption may be caused by water main maintenance and/or replacement, or plumbing work done inside your home. To help combat potential lead levels in drinking water, the City of Chicago treats water with a polyphosphate additive that forms a thin layer on the inside of water mains and interior plumbing to prevent water from actually coming in contact with pipe surfaces. This additive remains in the water all the way from the treatment plant to your home in Lombard. During construction or emergency repairs, this coating may be disturbed.
In 2017, Illinois Public Act 00-0922 requires Public Water Suppliers to maintain a lead water service line inventory, provide lead notifications during construction projects, and requires schools and daycares to test for lead in their plumbing systems. The Village of Lombard provides its residents a Water Service Line Information Map to find information regarding your water service. The information on this map was derived from data collected during the water meter replacement program, age of the structure, and building permit records. As the Village is not required to dig and expose each water service to determine the material make up, the information on the map is not a guarantee of the existing service line material. You can contact Public Works for more information or help in identifying your water service line material.
Lead Information Notices
As construction projects occur in your neighborhood, you will receive notification of water main repairs, replacements, maintenance, and water meter change-outs. Notification will be in one of the following forms:
• Scheduled Water Main/Water Service Construction – written notification no less than 14 days prior to the start of the work.
• Emergency Water Main/Water Service Repairs – written notification as soon as possible prior to the work commencing. Residents can expect the Village to go door to door in the affected area and provide a water main shut down notice with repair details and information about lead.
• Water Meter Change-Out – written notification at the time the water meter is being replaced.
Lead Water Service Line Replacement Reimbursement Program
The Village of Lombard offers a program to help residents with the replacement cost of lead water service lines and iron or galvanized water service lines that are connected to a lead water service. Through this program, the Village will replace the portion of the lead water service line from the connection at the water main to the curb stop in the Village right-of-way at no cost to the resident and provide up to $5,000 or 75% of the cost of the service line replacement from the curb stop up to the water meter in the resident’s home. Check out the Grants page for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Lead Service Line and how do I know if I have one? A lead service line is the pipe that provides drinking water to your home from the water main in the Village right-of-way. Lead service lines are generally a dull gray in color. You can identify them easily by carefully scratching with a key or coin. If the pipe is made of lead, the area you scratched will turn bright silver in color. Do not use a knife or other sharp instrument as you may puncture a hole in the pipe. Lead service lines may be connected to your home’s plumbing as it enters the building using solder, and have a typical “bulb” at the end near the shut off valve. You can use the following guidelines to help you determine if you have a lead service line in your home:
- Homes constructed before 1930 will most likely have a lead water service unless it was replaced during a recent renovation.
- Homes constructed between the 1930’s and 1960’s may have a lead service line. (lead plumbing material was being phased out at this time but was still used)
- Homes constructed after the 1960’s will most likely have a copper water service line. (lead was banned by the U.S. EPA in 1986 for use in water service lines)
Start by locating your water meter in your home. Look at the portion of the pipe that enters the home through the floor or foundation from the outside and connects to the water meter. Figure 1 illustrates the typical “bulb” before the shut off valve and meter. Figure 2 illustrates the scratch method to determine if the pipe is made of lead.