If you are concerned about the potential of elevated lead levels in your home’s water, you may wish to have your water tested. The test kit consists of three bottles, a mailing box, and instructions. Follow the instructions included in your kit for collecting water samples in your home, put the bottles in the shipping box and place it in a location (such as the entryway or front door) for pick up by Department of Water Management (DWM) staff.
If you would prefer to schedule a time for a DWM representative to come to your home to take water samples, keep in mind that this appointment must be scheduled for a time when you are home and you have not used your water for over 6 hours. Please call 311 or fill out the form on DWM website.
The Department of Water Management (DWM) takes a proactive approach to mitigating lead in our water system, which is why year after year, Chicago’s water meets or exceeds the standards set by the U.S. EPA for clean, safe drinking water. The lead standard to which we are held is 15 parts per billion as mandated by the U.S. EPA Lead and Copper Rule.
DWM maintains our safe and clean drinking water by:
1. Introducing corrosion control into our water mains;
2. Providing residences and businesses with complete instructions for flushing whenever there is any water infrastructure work being done in the vicinity of the property and;
3. Testing drinking water using a certified laboratory free of charge.
If there is an elevated lead level above the EPA standard detected in a residence, DWM works with the homeowner to verify the results and inspect the home’s plumbing and wiring to better evaluate possible lead sources and determine a remedy.
To make sure everyone knows what is in our water, every year DWM publishes and mails all Chicago residents easy-to-read Water Quality Report, which includes details about where our water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies.
Lastly, under Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago infrastructure initiative, we have tripled the miles of water mains replaced every year. This maintenance is critical to protecting the overall water system from contaminants, as well as working efficiently to conserve water.
Be sure to follow all the instructions on your test kit and after the results are analyzed, you will be notified.
They will also be posted on: www.chicagowaterquality.org.