Lead and Drinking Water
Lead is NOT present in Rockford’s source water (groundwater), nor is Lead in Rockford’s treated drinking water. However, if buildings have water service lines made of Lead, Lead can enter the drinking water through the corrosion of plumbing materials.
Lead Service Line Replacement Program
Construction for the Lead Service Line Replacement Project taking place throughout the City of Rockford has commenced. The Lead Service Line Replacement Project is being financed by the Public Water Supply Loan Program (PWSLP) State Revolving Fund (SRF). The SRF program is administered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and receives a portion of its money to fund these types of projects from the US Environmental Protection Agency. This project includes the replacement of identified lead service lines throughout the City. Once complete, it will improve water quality for area residents and businesses, as well as remove any health and safety threats with the lead services. SRF programs operate in each state to provide communities the resources necessary to build, maintain, and improve the infrastructure that protects once of our most valuable resources: water.
The City of Rockford has launched an Interactive Lead Service Line Identification map in order to help minimize our customers exposure to lead in water. This map will help assist customers in identifying where lead service lines are located and provide residents and businesses with information regarding public and private water service lines.
Customers can simply click on the water drop located within the map to obtain information about their service. Click here to access this interactive map.
Voluntary Lead Service Line Replacement
The City of Rockford Water Division encourages the full replacement of lead service lines on both public and private property. Property owners interested in replacing a lead service line can work with the Water Division to replace the entire service line from water main to meter. If a property owner meets specific requirements and agrees to pay for the service line replacement on private property, the City of Rockford Water Division will coordinate and replace the portion in the public space at the same time.
For more information about voluntary lead service line replacements, contact Water Quality at 779-348-7151.
Testing Water for Lead
The City of Rockford Water Division offers free annual lead testing to help customers identify potential lead sources. Lead test kits are delivered to customer households to allow homeowners to collect water samples. To request a free lead test kit, contact Water Quality at 779-348-7151.
Lead and Drinking Water Information
For more information please click any of the following images to open the full version.
Steps to Reduce Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water
Despite our best efforts mentioned earlier to control water corrosivity and remove lead from the water supply, lead can still be present in some homes or buildings. Advice for lead safe water practices include:
- Before using any tap water for drinking or cooking, flush your water systems by running the kitchen tap (or any other tap you take drinking or cooking water from) 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 with older plumbing. For more information on having your water tested by a certified lab, please call 779-348-7151.
For more information on Lead, see our Lead and Drinking Water Brochure.
How to Identify Your Private Water Service Line Material
If you would like to help us identify your Private Water Service Line Material, please click here to report your findings.
The City of Rockford has source water that is naturally hard (calcium carbonate), and has a neutral pH. The minerals that cause hardness coat the inside of your internal plumbing. This coating prevents lead from dissolving into drinking water. The City also treats the water with a food grade polyphosphate in accordance with the Lead and Copper Rule. This treatment further coats household plumbing and helps reduce the exposure of Lead in drinking water.
Lead and Copper Rule
The City of Rockford is in full compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). This rule requires that a utility sample water from resident’s kitchen cold water tap that has been in contact with the internal plumbing for 6 hours. Rockford is on a reduced monitoring schedule which takes place every three years as a result of many consecutive years of compliance with this program.
For more information about Lead click here for U.S. EPA information on Lead.
For more information about Lead click here for IDPH information on Lead.