Inventory of Water Service Lines

St. Charles to Begin Inventory of Water Service Lines

To Identify Service Lines Made with Lead

The City of St. Charles is committed to providing clean, safe, reliable drinking water to all of our residents and businesses. In support of that commitment, we are performing an inventory of water service lines (pipes) in accordance with the Illinois Lead Service Line Replacement & Notification Act. The City needs your help locating and identifying if there are water service lines made with lead in your home.

It is important to note that the source of St. Charles’ drinking water contains no lead. And, the City’s water mains that carry the water to your home or business are not made of lead.

However, lead was commonly used as a material in plumbing prior to the mid-1950s. This practice was not banned until 1986. If water service lines or home plumbing are made with lead, they could introduce lead into your drinking water. The surest way to keep your household safe is to identify and eliminate potential sources of lead. The City wants to help in that process.

Survey will help Identify Water Service Lines Made of Lead

Because the City does not have records that indicate which homes may have lead service lines, we are sending our customers a survey to identify the materials used for their water service lines. The survey contains a simple at-home test you can perform to determine your water service line material.

Information will be sent to sections of the City in phases. It includes a link to the online survey. If you are unable to complete the survey on a computer or mobile device, call the Public Works Department at 630.377.4405 for assistance.

What’s a Water Service Line?

A water service line is the smaller pipe that delivers water from the City water main, which can be located in the street or the back or side yards of your home. The service line runs from the City’s water main to the water shut off just past the water meter inside of the home.

The City is responsible for the water service from the water main to the property line. The property owner is responsible from the property line to the building, including all the plumbing inside of the building.

Water Service Line Graphic

Your help is needed to identify service line materials in your home

The City is mailing out information about this lead service line identification project, along with a link to the survey for you to complete. You can complete this survey online by following the link with a digital device. If you cannot complete the survey on a computer or mobile device, call the Public Works Department at 630-377-4405 for assistance.

How can I prepare and identify service line material?

There are several ways to determine your service line material. Identification is easy, but you may wish to hire a licensed plumber who can check the line and seek out other potential sources of lead in your plumbing.

Most water services enter the home in the basement or crawl space. If you don’t have either of these and you are on a slab foundation, the service line would be on the first floor. Because we want to identify the water service and not the home plumbing system, it’s important to find the location. This will be the same location where your water meter and main plumbing valve is located.

There are four material types: Lead, Copper, Galvanized Steel and Plastic. 

Pipe Materials

What is the City’s plan to replace lead service lines?

At this time, the first step is to identify the number of lead service lines located in the City. The City will complete this task over the next year, with your help. After we have identified all the lead service lines, the City will create a long-term lead line replacement plan. 

I have a lead service line. How do I reduce my exposure?

If you have a lead line and the water remains stagnant for several hours or overnight, lead can be present in some homes or buildings.  Some lead safe water practices include:    

  • Before using any tap water for drinking or cooking, flush your water system by running the kitchen tap on cold for 1- 2 minutes.
  • Remove and clean faucet aerators regularly to eliminate any debris such as metal particulates.
  • Purchase or lease a home water treatment device. Various types of water treatment devices are certified for household use, and can remove a broad range of contaminants from water – including lead. Any type of water treatment device that you choose should meet National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards.
  • Test water in houses that have older plumbing. For more information on having your water tested by a certified lab, please call Public Works at 630-377-4405.

Additional Resources

U.S. EPA information on Lead https://www.epa.gov/lead

Illinois Department of Public Health information on Lead https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/environmental-health-protection/lead-in-water.html

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