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Concerns Surface About Lead Contamination in Chicago Drinking Water

WQP recently reported on a Chicago Tribune drinking water analysis that turned up some eye-opening results about the city’s tap water. The analysis found:

  • Nearly 70% of the 2,797 homes where water was sampled from over the last two years showed some concentration of lead in the drinking water
  • 3/10 of the homes had lead concentrations higher than 5 parts per billion (ppb)

According to the WQP report, the Department of Water Management (DWM) said that Chicago complies with the EPA standard of addressing any test results over 15 ppb, and only 5.1% of the samples showed results higher than that level. The DWM’s procedure is to notify all residents whose water samples test over the EPA standard and work with those residents to find the source of the lead.

Still, these results raise concerns for residents all over Chicago—and across the nation. Marc Edwards, an environmental engineer and professor at Virginia Tech, is quoted in the WQP report saying: “We’ve done testing in New Orleans and frankly all around the country and honestly the Chicago results look pretty typical for a city with modern corrosion control and lead service lines.”

Read the full story on elevated lead levels in Chicago drinking water here

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