Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Lead can be found in air, soil, dust, food, and water.
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Lead was a commonly used material for water service lines before the 1950s. It was also used as a material in some plumbing parts until the Clean Water Act was passed in 1986 regulating lead in water. Approximately 70% of Village's more than 5,152 water service lines are presumed to be made from lead.
The most common source of lead exposure is from paint in homes and buildings built before 1978, before lead-based paints were banned for use in housing. Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust are the main sources of exposure to lead in American youth. Although the main sources of exposure to lead are ingesting paint chips and inhaling dust, lead also can be found in some household plumbing materials and some water service lines. The Environmental Protection Agency states that lead pipes are more likely to be found in older homes built before Congress enacted lead-reduction requirements as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act amendments in 1986. As a result, homes built in or after 1986 are far less likely to have lead pipes.
The EPA regulates drinking water supplies to ensure that they are safe. As a result, the Village regularly tests its water for lead, bacteria, and other regulated contaminants. No lead contaminant level violations were recorded during the last Water Quality test. To view the Village’s Annual Water Quality Reports, please click here.
Replacement of lead service lines has begun, with service line replacements occurring concurrently with watermain replacement projects. Starting in 2025, the Village will carry out a multi-year plan to replace all of the lead service lines found within the Village. All service lines are planned for replacement by the end of 2029.
Service lines in La Grange are privately owned all the way to the watermain. In implementing the Lead Service Line Replacement program, the Village has designated the portion from the watermain to the B-Box (shut-off valve) the public portion of the service line, with the private segment of the service designated as the portion of the service from the B-Box to the water meter located inside the home or business.
The illustration below shows a water service line from its connection to your home all the way to the water main. You can see the portion of the water service line that is the owner's responsibility and the portion that is the Village’s responsibility.
During the time in which the program is active, owners of properties served by lead service lines will receive a notification regarding the program. Two options will be presented, which includes participating or declining to participate the Village program. A participation agreement will be included along with the notification. Please complete and return these forms to the Village as instructed in the notification.
Individuals who elect not to have the Village replace their lead service line on private property will be required to complete a form that will be submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health documenting that consent was not given to perform the replacement.
It is important for the Village to make the most of available funds by efficiently managing replacement projects in a systematic fashion. It is also understandable that some property owners may want to replace their service line prior to replacement under the Village’s multi-year schedule.
Service line replacements performed outside of the Village’s replacement program are the sole responsibility of the property owner. Costs are borne by the property owner and the Village will not reimburse costs associated with replacements performed outside of the scheduled replacements in the program.
If you would like to hire a contractor to complete this work on your private property, a building permit from the Community Development Department will be required. Any work must be completed by an IL licensed plumber with a valid La Grange contractor registration. Upon approval of plans and payment of fees, the Public Works Department will perform necessary inspections and install the water meter as required. View a schedule of fees for the new water service.
At least 45 days prior to a lead service replacement, the Village will send you a notification, providing details on the work being performed in your neighborhood.
Water service line replacement will be completed by a Village-hired contractor. Landscape restoration is the responsibility of the property owner. A trenchless replacement process will be used to minimize yard disruption. You will receive instructions with any information you may need, and we will keep you updated during this process.
Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline 800-426-4791 or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.
Additional information on lead service lines can be found at the following:
Regular monitoring and testing is performed to ensure continued availability of safe drinking water. However, if you learn that you have a lead service line and you would like to take additional preventative actions, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency provides the following to reduce potential exposures in drinking water:
Send an email inquiry.