Bartlett's Drinking Water

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT LEAD IN YOUR DRINKING WATER

faucet & water glass

February 2020 - The Village of Bartlett found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes/buildings. Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and children 6 years and younger. Please read this notice closely to see what you can do to reduce lead in your drinking water.

Health Effects of Lead

Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants, young children and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults. Lead is stored in the bones and it can be released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’s bones, which may affect brain development.

 

 water drop with info about running tap

Sources of Lead

Lead is a naturally-occurring metal. Drinking water is one possible source of lead exposure. The main causes of lead exposure are lead-based paint, lead-contaminated dust or soil and some plumbing materials. Other sources include exposure in the workplace and exposure from certain hobbies. The primary sources of lead exposure for most children are deteriorating lead-based paint, lead-contaminated dust and lead-contaminated residential soil.

Exposure to lead is a significant health concern, especially for young children and infants whose growing bodies tend to absorb more lead than the average adult. Infants that drink formula prepared with lead-contaminated water are at a greater risk because of the large volume of water they drink relative to their body size. Lead is rarely found in source water but can enter tap water through corrosion of plumbing materials. Lead pipes, solder, faucets and plumbing fixtures made prior to 1986 may contain lead.

The Village’s source water, Lake Michigan, contains no detectable amounts of lead. As stated above, lead enters the drinking water primarily as a result of corrosion, or the wearing away, of materials containing lead in the consumer’s household plumbing and rarely from water in a utility’s distribution system. These household plumbing materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass and chromium plated faucets, and lead service pipes connecting the home to the Village’s water main.  

During the Village’s July through December lead and copper monitoring period, no lead values exceeded USEPA/IEPA’s limit of 15 ppb except for samples which were taken from customers who have lead service pipes. Of the approximately 13,500 service pipes in the Village, it is estimated that about 250 may have lead service pipes (<2%).

When water stands in lead pipes or plumbing fixtures containing lead for several hours or more, the lead may dissolve or leach into water. This means the first water drawn from the tap in the morning, or later in the afternoon after returning from work or school, may contain higher levels of lead.

 

What Happened? What is Being Done? 

The Village sampled tap water for lead and copper concentrations for the July through December 2019 monitoring period. The Village sampled 30 houses with lead service lines and 30 houses with copper service lines. IEPA notified the Village that the sample pool exceeded the lead action level of 15 ppb. The 90th percentile value for lead in the Village’s sample pool during the July through December monitoring period was calculated to be 16 ppb.

The Village is investigating the cause or causes of the elevated lead levels that appeared in a limited number of homes. The source of elevated lead levels could be due to a change in water chemistry with insufficient time for the City of Chicago’s corrosion control inhibitors to form protective coatings needed to become effective combined with lead service and/or lead solder in the internal plumbing of homes. Plumbing materials made after 1986 are not expected to have lead solder. As of May 2019, the Village receives lead-free Lake Michigan water from the DuPage Water Commission, which in turn receives water from the City of Chicago. This water supply option was one of several alternatives evaluated by the Village Board and each change would most likely have triggered similar readings until the corrosion control inhibitors had a chance to line the lead service pipes.

The City of Chicago adds a corrosion inhibitor to all water it provides, widely known to remove iron and rust and protect against lead, including to the water it provides the DuPage Water Commission. The corrosion inhibitor forms a protective coating on the interior of lead pipes and soldered joints which prevents the lead from leaching into tap water. It will take a period for the inhibitor to establish this protective coating. The DuPage Water Commission supplies water to 28 communities of similar character to Bartlett. None of the 28 communities exceeded the IEPA lead action levels during the last rounds of compliance sampling which demonstrates the effectiveness of the City of Chicago’s corrosion control measures. In the meantime, the Village continues to re-sample tap water to confirm the treatment is taking effect and have seen a reduction in lead levels. The Village is in the process of implementing additional measures, such as installing a supplemental phosphate feed station at the Village’s water Receiving Station to “boost” the effectiveness of the corrosion inhibitor and reduce the time needed for the coating to become effective.  

The Village has already met with the customers receiving tap water that exceeded the 15 ppb action level and provided them with faucet filters. If customers have a lead service line, we will provide a faucet filter and discuss our 50/50 lead service line replacement program. If your house was built prior to 1986 and you think you may have a lead service line, please contact Public Works to set up an appointment.

Identifying Lead in plumbing graphic

Steps You Can Take To Reduce Your Exposure To Lead In Your Water

If the level of lead found in your drinking water is above 15 parts per billion (ppb) or if you are concerned about the lead levels at your location, there are several things you can do:

Run your water to flush out lead. If water hasn’t been used for several hours, run water from your kitchen tap or whatever tap you use for drinking and cooking for at least 3 minutes and it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking. This will help flush lead-containing water from the pipes. In order to conserve water, you can fill multiple containers after flushing for drinking, cooking and preparing baby formula.
See Daily Flushing of Plumbing reminder 

 • Clean your aerator. Regularly clean your faucet’s screen (also known as an aerator). Sediment, debris and lead particles can collect in your aerator. If lead particles are caught in the aerator, lead can get into your water.   
See How To Clean Your Aerator 

Use cold water filtered through a filter certified by the NSF to remove lead for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula. Read the directions to learn how to properly install and use your cartridge and when to replace it. Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead dissolves more easily into hot water. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula. After filtering cold tap water, you can then heat the water prior to consumption.
See How Should I Use My Water?

Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.

Consider alternative sources or treatment of water.

Test your water for lead. Below are some options for testing for lead:  
          1. Home test kit available at Home Depot
          2. Suburban Laboratories located in Geneva, 708-544-3260
          3. Contact Village. If you have a lead service pipe, the Village will test your water.

Identify if your plumbing fixtures contain lead. New brass faucets, fittings, and valves, including those advertised as “lead-free,” may contribute lead to drinking water. As of June 19, 1986, new or replaced water service lines and new household plumbing materials cannot contain more than 8% lead. Lead content was further reduced on January 4, 2014, when plumbing materials must now be certified as "lead-free" to be used (weighted average of wetted surface cannot be more than 0.25% lead). Consumers should be aware of this when choosing fixtures and take appropriate precautions.

Lead in Drinking Water - EPA graphic

 

For More Information

Call Bartlett Public Works at 630-837-0811. For more information about reducing lead exposure around your home/building and the health effects of lead, visit EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/lead or contact your health care provider.

Please share this information with all other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, schools, businesses). 

 


Lead in Drinking Water: Quick Points
Lead in Drinking Water: FAQs