As part of the Chicago Department of Water Management’s (DWM) proactive approach to water quality research, DWM launched Chicago’s Water Quality Study in 2016 to investigate the possible impact of water main construction and meter installation on residential lead levels. This is the most comprehensive scientific study to explore these issues ever conducted.
The Study compares the before and after water samples from homes that have received water meter installations and from residences on blocks where the City is replacing water mains. The sampling approach in the Study is rigorous. It requires collecting four water samples for each test, making the process more likely to detect levels of lead.
The Study’s goal is to complete before and after sampling in a total of 1,200 homes near water main construction and 900 homes that have received water meters. DWM contacts residents with their individual results when they become available, and broader results are posted here.
If you have received a notice that DWM will be replacing water mains in your area and want to register for the Study, click here.
To participate in the Study by getting a water meter, visit www.metersave.org.
To promote water quality in your home, flush your water system for five minutes if the water has been stagnant for more than six hours. Click here for more info.
About Water Testing
If you are concerned about the potential of elevated lead levels in your home’s water, you may wish to have your water tested.
The test kit consists of three bottles, a mailing box, and instructions. Follow the instructions included in your kit for collecting water samples in your home, put the bottles in the shipping box and place it in a location (such as the entryway or front door) for pick up by Department of Water Management (DWM) staff.
If you would prefer to schedule a time for a DWM representative to come to your home to take water samples, keep in mind that this appointment must be scheduled for a time when you are home and you have not used your water for over 6 hours. Please call 311 or fill out the form here and a representative will reach out to you to schedule a visit.