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LEAD SERVICE LINE REPLACEMENT

Lead Service Line Replacement

What does it take to replace a lead service line?

Replacing a lead service line with a new copper service means running the new line from the water main in the street all the way into the house. There are two ways that can be done. With open trench replacements, a trench is dug from the home through the parkway to install the new service and access the water main. Trenchless construction runs the new service to the main underground, causing less disturbance to the surrounding area. The type of procedure performed will depend on several factors specific to each replacement.

Typical Water Service Line Diagram

CITY-ASSISTED LEAD SERVICE LINE REPLACEMENT PROGRAMS

If you live in a house or two-flat built before 1986, there is a high likelihood that your water service line is made of lead unless it was replaced during renovation or an addition.

Service lines are the pipes that transport water from the water main in the street into homes. As the first step in a multi-year effort to remove all Chicago's lead lines, the City is offering two voluntary lead service line replacement programs.

Equity Lead Service Line Replacement Program

Under this program, you may be eligible for a free lead service line replacement all the way from the water main into your home plus installation of a free water meter to save money on your water bills if:

- Have a household income below 80% of the area median income ($83,350 for a family of 4). More info here.

- Live in a home that you own.

Priority replacement will be given to residents who also have kids 18 and under in their home or have had elevated lead in their water as determined by free testing done by the Department of Water Management.

Equity Replacement Program

HAVE KIDS 18 & UNDER OR GET YOUR WATER TESTED

Call 311 or sign up on chicagowaterquality.org to request a free test for lead.

Determine Income Eligibility

Submit application documenting household income and home ownership to see if you qualify. Complete the online application or download the application form.
NOTE: Your application is not considered complete until all the documents have been submitted.

Construction Coordination

Once approved for a free service line, meet with the City-provided Contractor to learn about how the work will done and then agree to the work.

Complete  LSLR

The City-provided Contractor will complete the LSLR and, if necessary, the meter installation. A City Inspector will review the installation, and Water Management staff will connect the new service line into the water main. Flush your water per instructions. Using filters that are NSF-53 certified to remove lead is recommended for the first three months after any construction work.

Follow-Up Water Testing

Receive free follow-up lead testing of your water by calling 311 or going to chicagowaterquality.org.

This program is now accepting applications. Complete the online application or download the application form.

For a list of supporting documents you will need, click here.

Note: Applications are not considered complete until all the documentation has been submitted. Completed applications will be processed in the order they are received.

Request a free water test kit here.

Homeowner-Initiated Program

If a residential homeowner wants to hire a contractor and remove the existing lead service line, the City of Chicago is launching a program to waive the permit fees for the project. This could amount to a savings of up to $3,100. Additionally, the City will attach the new service line to the water main and provide a free water meter for the contractor to install, if there isn't already one in place. To qualify, the request for the fee waiver must be a standalone and not made in conjunction with a home renovation or expansion.

*Commercial and mixed use residential/commercial locations are not eligible at this time.

Homeowner-Initiated Program

Verify service  line material

Determine if you have a lead service line. Check your service line for lead provides a few easy steps to determine if your service line is lead.

SELECT & HIRE A CONTRACTOR

Visit the list of licensed plumbers to select a contractor. Be sure to ask these screening questions when interviewing contractors.

Permit Fee Waiver

The contractor will notify Department of Buildings that this is a LSLR project eligible for permit fee waivers. *Contractors can upload their documents (water bill, picture of property, CDOT permit) to the Department of Buildings here.

* Additional permits and permit fees may be required from other agencies, such as IDOT, depending on the location of the home.

Construction Coordination

Meet with the contractor prior to commencing work to review how the work will be done and how much restoration will be performed.

Complete  LSLR

The contractor will complete the LSLR and meter installation, if necessary. A City Inspector will review the installation, and Water Management Staff will connect the new service line into the water main. Flush your water per instructions. Using filters that are NSF-53 certified to remove lead is recommended for the first three months after any construction work.

Follow-Up Water Testing

Receive free follow-up lead testing of your water by calling 311 or going to chicagowaterquality.org to have a kit mailed to you.

Select your own plumber or refer to the list of plumbing contractors licensed to work in Chicago here. A list of suggested questions you may want to ask when choosing a plumbing contractor here.

This program is accepting applications.

MORE TO COME

Chicago is launching a program to replace lead service lines for licensed day cares located in low-income areas. Eligible facilities will be contacted to make arrangements for the replacements. Click here for more information.