Lead Service Inventory and Replacement Program
Under state mandate, the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act, municipalities are required to develop an inventory to identify the number of suspected lead service lines in addition to creating and implementing a comprehensive plan to replace those service lines. In accordance with the law, the Village of Wilmette will submit a draft lead service line replacement plan by 2024, and a final plan by 2027.
Water service line materials used throughout Wilmette include copper, galvanized pipe, and lead. In the past it has been common practice to complete partial line replacements when a lead or galvanized service line breaks or leaks. These partial replacements are no longer allowed due to risks caused by the disruption in the line. For all lead or galvanized service line repairs, the entire line now must be replaced.
Water Service Inventory
The first requirements of the Act is to develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive Water Service Line Material Inventory identifying and documenting the materials that currently make up all of the water service lines within Wilmette. The Village is using a variety of methods to aid in the inventory of the water service line materials including use of construction and permit data, review of past capital projects, customer self-reporting, and field verifications. Click on the map to review the Village’s current inventory of water service lines throughout the community including your address. The inventory results will be used to develop a long-term plan to address existing lead service lines.
With the deadline for compliance fast approaching, the Village is entering the second phase of the water service line inventory which is to conduct in-person home visits. The Village’s field data collectors will go door-to-door to assist residents with determining their water service line material.
All data collectors will have Village ID and will ask you to complete the survey on your doorstep if you know the water line material. If you do not know the material used for your water service line, the data collectors are trained to identify the material. They will ask permission to enter your home to look at the area immediately surrounding the water meter. This area is typically in the basement near your water heater. If the water meter is hidden behind a wall, in a crawlspace or behind other materials, the field data collector will not be able to complete the identification and will leave a tag asking for your help in identifying the material.
If you are not home, a door tag will be left directing you to the web site using a QR code or web link to the survey.
If you have any questions, please contact the Engineering and Public Works Department at 847-853-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the map below to review the Village’s current inventory of water service lines throughout the community.
Village Water Quality
Delivering safe and high-quality drinking water to over 150,000 customers is core to the Village’s operation. In alignment with that mission, the Village adheres to all state and federal regulations. The Village of Wilmette would like to assure its customers that a lead/corrosion control program has been in place for over 25 years. This program incorporates applying the EPA recommended corrosion control treatment at the Village’s water treatment plant, and periodic rounds of sampling and testing of lead levels in drinking water at approved homes by Illinois EPA (IEPA) to measure the treatment effectiveness. The Village has maintained compliance with this regulation since its inception. To learn more about lead, how to reduce lead exposure around your home, and the health effects of lead click here.
Please watch the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) lead in drinking water education video below.
Water Service Information
Lead is a toxic metal that is widespread in the environment and can be absorbed from a variety of sources (paint, food, soil, air, and water). If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. The degree of harm is directly related to the level of lead in the blood. Excessive levels of lead can damage the brain, kidneys, nervous system, red blood cells and reproductive system.
The use of lead for water service lines was prevalent into the 1960s and finally restricted in 1986 when Congress imposed the Safe Drinking Water Act. In 1991, the EPA published the final lead and copper rule which established the action level for lead and copper in drinking water.
Finished water leaving the Wilmette water treatment plant historically has had no detectable lead. Lead in the water supply does not come from the treatment plant and water mains but rather from the plumbing that is located between the water main in the street and the inside of a house (typically referred to as the service line). Generally, there are three sources that could leach lead into the drinking water:
- Lead Service Lines – A service line is the pipe that connects your house to the water main in the street. Some service lines that run from older homes (usually those built before 1940) to the utility water main are made from lead. Over time, some of these older service lines have been replaced, but many homes could still have one.
- Lead-tin solder joined copper pipes – Copper piping has often been used since the 1930’s for home plumbing, but the solder (an alloy of tin with lead and antimony) used to fuse the pipes together typically contained elevated levels of lead prior to 1986, the year it was banned.
- Household faucets and fixtures – Lead can also corrode from metal faucets and fixtures made from brass, an alloy of copper and zinc that often contains lead impurities, including chrome-plated brass fixtures. Therefore, a home with no copper or lead pipe could have elevated lead levels due to brass fixtures. Plumbing fixtures with a lead content of less than 8% used to be legally defined as “lead free” but since 2014, “lead free” refers to fixtures with a lead content of 0.25% or less.