Lightfoot Administration Announces Start of Lead Water Pipe Replacement Program

September 2020

The Lightfoot administration announced today that it will begin a program to replace lead service lines next year. Chicago code required lead service lines far longer than most American cities, until 1986, leaving Chicago with the dubious distinction of having more lead pipes in the ground than any other city in the nation. The program will start with less than 1,000 homes that are mostly located in low-income neighborhoods.

Chicago environmental and community organizations have urged the City to replace all toxic lead pipes and prioritize free or affordable replacements for communities of color that are most vulnerable to all sources of lead. There is no safe level of lead exposure.

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