Lead in Drinking Water
The Village purchases treated drinking water from the Dupage Water Commission via the City of Chicago. By monitoring and adjusting pH levels, the City of Chicago Department of Water Management (DWM) reduces the corrosiveness of water. In addition, the City of Chicago DWM has an aggressive anti-corrosion program in which phosphates, a common food ingredient, are added to form a coating on lead pipes, preventing lead from leaching into the water. Elevated lead levels in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing.
Raised Concerns About Lead Levels
According to the American Water Works Association, while the water utility and public health communities have made significant strides in reducing lead exposure, public health advocates and regulatory agencies are looking closely at the contribution of lead at the tap from lead service lines—particularly lead service lines that have been disturbed. There are three typical scenarios that raise concerns about elevated lead levels:
- Mandatory lead service line replacement with required by the Lead and Copper rule
- Infrastructure replacement when full or partial lead service line replacement occurs when other utility work is underway, such as during water main rehabilitation
- Repairs to lead service lines
Partial Lead Service Line Replacements
On September of 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) found that the available data indicate that partial lead service line replacement “may pose a risk to the population, due to the short-term elevations in drinking water lead concentrations.” Both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory committees have subsequently expressed similar concerns about elevated lead concentrations in drinking water from partial lead service line replacements. EPA’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council indicated that elevated lead levels were a concern from both full and partial lead service line replacement.
What You Can Do at Home
If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Glen Ellyn is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but we cannot control the variety of materials used in home plumbing components ( faucets, fittings and solder). When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to two minutes before using the water for drinking or cooking.
If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may purchase a lead testing kit, provided by a Certified Laboratory. Residents can also purchase point of use or whole house filters rated for the removal of lead (NSF/ANSI 53 or 58), but must follow the filter manufacturer directions for installation, use and maintenance. Information on lead in your drinking water, testing methods and steps you can take to minimize exposure to lead is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or on the EPA's website.
Water Quality Questions & Sampling Results
Any water quality questions can be directed to Village of Glen Ellyn Utility Division Superintendent at 630-547-5516. For lead level information, water sample results or other water quality information, please see our current water quality report.