When Governor J.B. Pritzker signs the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act into law, the State of Illinois will be taking a large step towards recognizing, sourcing and eliminating lead in water sources. The bill mandates the owner or operator of any community water supply replace all lead service lines throughout the State of Illinois and includes financial assistance to eligible communities with the Lead Service Line Replacement Fund.
Once signed, the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act:
- Mandates full lead service line replacement by all water systems within a required timeframe based on the number of lead service lines in the particular system or network. When replacing a lead service line, the owner or operator of the community water supply shall replace the service line in its entirety, including, but not limited to, any portion of the service line (i) running on private property and (ii) within the building’s plumbing at the first shut-off valve;
- Prevents the practice known as “partial replacement”, in which only the utility’s side of the lead line is replaced, while the portion of the line that runs under a private property remains in place. As detailed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a partial replacement not only leaves lead pipes in the ground, but a chemical reaction called galvanic corrosion can occur when two types of metal (lead and copper) are fused together, which can cause an increase in the corrosion of a lead pipe with the potential to increase the risk of lead-contaminated drinking water;
- Requires water systems to submit an initial service line materials inventory to the State of Illinois by April 15, 2023 and a final complete inventory by April 15, 2024;
- Requires water systems to submit an initial lead service line replacement plan to the State of Illinois by April 15, 2024 and an updated plan every April 15th for review until a final comprehensive plan is submitted to the State of Illinois by April 15, 2027;
- Creates the Lead Service Line Replacement Fund which is dedicated exclusively to fund water systems’ work of identifying and replacing lead service lines;
- On and after January 1, 2022, when the owner or operator of a community water supply replaces a water main, the community water supply shall identify all lead service lines connected to the water main and replace, in accordance with its lead service line replacement plan, the service lead lines by identifying the material(s) of each lead service line connected to the water main, including, but not limited to, any portion of the service line running on private property and within the building plumbing at the first shut-off valve or 18” inside the building (whichever is shorter);
- Creates the Lead Service Line Replacement Advisory Board: a multi-sector stakeholder body that will advise the state on best practices in lead service line replacement and implementation and integration of the state’s lead service line replacement goals;
- Establishes a statewide low-income water assistance policy and program that allow low-income State of Illinois residents to become eligible to apply for monetary assistance to help ensure access to lead-free water.
The Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act will make the State of Illinois only the second state in the country mandating full lead service line replacement and comes on the heels of The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule for Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems as well as the U.S. Senate committee’s unanimously passing of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021. The federal bipartisan bill, now up for debate on the Senate floor, is led by Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth who chairs the Senate’s Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water & Wildlife.
Drinking water supplied through lead pipes can be hazardous to your health. If a water supply to a building or home passes through lead pipes or an illegal lead solder to joint pipes, lead may leech into drinking water.
RHP Risk Management’s certified industrial hygienists, public health scientists, and certified safety professionals have decades experience performing a variety of water management related consulting services including general water quality testing for contaminants such as lead, copper, arsenic, nitrates, and coliforms; specific regulatory related lead in water sampling for schools and daycares; and thorough building water system assessments and testing for legionella in commercial buildings, public buildings, industrial sites, and residential properties. Contact RHP Risk Management at (773) 867-6010.