Chicago has a solid reputation for high quality, good tasting water for good reason: Chicago’s water is safe and pure, meeting or exceeding all standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Illinois EPA and the drinking water industry. The safety and quality of Chicago’s tap water is our top priority, and the Chicago Department of Water Management (DWM) continually monitors water quality and performs testing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Further, DWM will test any resident’s water at any time for lead or other particles; residents can call 311 to request free water testing at their address if they have concerns about water quality. In addition to providing testing upon request, DWM tests in high risk areas as defined by the U.S. EPA.
Is Chicago’s drinking water safe?
Yes. Chicago’s water is safe and pure, meeting or exceeding all standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Illinois EPA and the drinking water industry. Every year, DWM sends Chicago residents an annual 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. The information in the report comes from the Illinois EPA. The report is posted at: www.cityofchicago.org/water
DWM maintains safe and clean drinking water by:
Distributing fresh, virtually lead-free water when it leaves DWM’s water treatment plants;
Monitoring Chicago’s water at different points along the distribution system 24/7;
Introducing corrosion control into Chicago’s water mains to form a coating to minimize the risk that lead and other possible contaminants leach into the water;
Providing residences and businesses with complete instructions for flushing whenever there is any water infrastructure work being done in the vicinity and;
Providing free drinking water testing by a certified laboratory completely free of charge.
Chicago has an excellent water source – Lake Michigan. However, many older single family and two-flat residences built before 1986 are likely to have lead service lines connecting the individual home to the water main. These older homes may also have lead solder and older interior household plumbing containing lead. To mitigate the effects of these potential sources of lead exposure, DWM has a corrosion control program in which a blended phosphate is added.
Click here for tips when flushing water in your home.
If you are concerned about the potential of elevated lead levels in your home’s water, you may wish to have your water tested. To order your kit, click here.