What You Need to Know About Lead Pipes in Chicago

By Four Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric - November 28, 2018
Person checking the tap water flow

Earlier this year, the Chicago Department of Water Management conducted a lead test on a sampling of metered homes throughout the city. Out of the 296 homes tested, 51 residences were found to have elevated levels of lead in their water—more than 17 percent of the sampling!

Over 165,000 homes in Chicago have meters installed, meaning that more than 28,000 households in Chicago could have lead contaminants above the EPA action level in their water. (1)City officials in Chicago are not certain whether the lead is stemming from the lead service lines or the plumbing within the affected homes, meaning that a solution has not yet been found.

Yikes! What Can I Do to Protect My Family From Lead Exposure in Our Water?

Because lead is a toxic metal, even low levels of exposure can result in health issues. Lead exposure is particularly dangerous for children and pregnant women. (2) However, the EPA has several tips that concerned Chicago residents can follow to reduce their exposure to lead in drinking water:

  • Test household water for lead, especially if any non-plastic plumbing was installed before 1986.
  • Use only cold water for cooking and drinking. Boiling water does not remove lead.
  • Regularly clean all faucets’ aerators or screens.
  • Flush pipes by running the tap for a few minutes before drinking, showering, or doing the dishes.
  • Purchase new, lead-free faucets and plumbing components.

It is also recommended to install filters to help further reduce any risks. (3) There are a few different water filtration systems available, including whole home solutions, under-the-sink installation, and simple attachments to sink faucets. Our qualified plumbers at Four Seasons Plumbing and Sewer can help determine what type and combination of filters will work best for each family’s plumbing needs.

What Can I Do to Remove to Remove the Lead Entirely?

The more permanent solution to removing lead contaminants from a piping system involves removing and replacing the lead pipes entirely. While this can be an extensive project, many families consider it worthwhile to gain peace of mind and ensure the health of their children is not at risk. When considering replacing lead pipes, it’s important to choose a quality service provider. In Chicago, lead pipe replacement can be a difficult undertaking, requiring a licensed team of trained professionals that are bonded with the city to remove public sidewalks. Lead pipe removal can cause further contamination or major structural issues if done incorrectly.

At Four Seasons Plumbing and Sewer, we have more than 45 years of experience and a team of fully licensed plumbing experts with all the city certifications needed to safely remove and replace household pipes. Our team is also fully bonded with the city of Chicago, allowing us to handle every aspect of lead pipe removal from preliminary testing, complete excavation (including sidewalks), and copper pipe installation.

Getting the pipes in your home replaced doesn’t have to be a headache. Our team is here 24/7 to make the process as easy as possible. Keep your family safe from the dangers of lead contamination in Chicago by scheduling a fast in-home pipe evaluation with Four Seasons Plumbing and Sewer today.


  1. https://abc7chicago.com/health/tests-show-elevated-lead-in-chicago-water/4598275/
  2. https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water
  3. https://www.epa.gov/il/advice-chicago-residents-about-lead-drinking-water

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