Lead Service Line Inventory Program
Lead & Drinking Water Overview
The City of Rolling Meadows understands the importance of clean and safe water for you and your family. This page is designed to provide you with easy-to-understand information about lead in water service lines, why it matters, and what you can do to keep your water safe.
A water service line connects the public water main (usually under the street) to your home or business. Service line ownership is shared between the City and property owners. Rolling Meadows owns the portion from the public water main to the B-Box or shut-off valve, and the property owner owns the portion from the B-Box or shut-off valve into the house.
Note that lead is not present in the Rolling Meadows’s source water (groundwater) nor in water flowing through our distribution system. Lead, however, can enter your drinking water through corrosion of household plumbing materials, if the building contains a lead service line or any plumbing fixtures that contain lead. There are no known lead service lines in Rolling Meadows.
Water Service Line Material Inventory & Survey
The City of Rolling Meadows has created an interactive map which includes the known service line material information on the public and private side. Information shown in this map will be updated as the City continues to build out its water service line material inventory.
Click on the map below to review the City’s current inventory of water service lines throughout the community. The inventory results will be used to develop a long-term plan to address existing lead service lines.
If your property’s water service line is still shown as unknown, please help us by self-reporting your water service line through the City’s Water Service Line Survey.
What is Lead?
Lead is a naturally occurring metal found in the earth’s crust and has been used by people for thousands of years. Due to lead being soft and malleable, it has been useful for a variety of different industries. You may find it in things like batteries, pipes and even in some types of paints. While lead has its uses, it’s important to be mindful of where it can be found, as consuming even small amounts of lead can be harmful.
Where can lead be found?
- Older Paint: Homes built before 1978 might have paint with lead in it. It's especially crucial to be cautious if you're renovating an older house, as when the paint peals and cracks, it makes lead dust.
- Drinking Water: Sometimes, lead can get into drinking water if it flows through lead pipes or plumbing fixtures made with lead. This is why it's essential to know what your water pipes are made of.
- Soil: In some places, the soil might have lead in it, often from older paint or leaded gasoline that was once used in cars.
- Certain Jobs and Hobbies: People who work in certain jobs, like construction, battery manufacturing, or stained-glass work, might come into contact with lead.
- Imported Goods: Some products such as toys or jewelry, especially those from other countries, might contain lead. This is why it's crucial to be aware of what's in the things we use.
Lead is harmful to human health even at low exposure levels. Babies and young children are most vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead at low levels. There is no safe exposure to lead, especially for children. While everyone can be affected by lead, children under 6 and pregnant women are most vulnerable. Lead affects the health of children, pregnant women, and adults differently.
For more information regarding lead and health, visit the CDC at www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/prevention/health-effects.htm
What is Rolling Meadows doing to monitor lead?
The City of Rolling Meadows would like to assure its customers that a lead monitoring program has been in place for over 30 years. The City regularly tests consumers’ taps for lead and is in full compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule. As of 2023, Rolling Meadows was well below the EPA lead action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb).
The City performs testing at 30 sites every three years. Results from the last round of testing are below. Rolling Meadows is in full compliance with the IEPA and USEPA.
90th Percentile (parts per billion)
# of Sites over Action Level
However, the City does not offer testing at individual homes. If you want to test your water, IEPA maintains a list of Certified Labs for Analysis of Lead in Drinking Water, which can be found here.
See the City’s Water Quality Reports here.
Steps to Reduce Lead Exposure from Drinking Water
The best way to eliminate risks of lead in water is to completely replace all sources of lead. However, there are also steps you can take now to reduce lead levels in your water. We strongly urge you to take the steps below to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water.
- Run the Tap Before Use – Lead levels are likely at their highest when water has been sitting in a lead pipe for several hours. Clear this water from your pipes by running the cold water for 3-5 minutes before using. This allows you to draw fresh water from the City’s water main. In efforts to conserve water, you can use this water on house plants or to flush toilets.
- Clean Aerators – Aerators are small attachments at the tips of faucets which regulate the flow of water. They can accumulate small particles of lead in their screens. It’s a good idea to remove your aerators at least monthly and clean them out.
- Use Cold Water for Cooking and Drinking – Always cook and prepare baby formula with cold water, because hot water dissolves lead more quickly, resulting in higher levels in water.
- Filter the Water – Many home water filters are effective at removing lead. If you purchase a filter, make sure it is certified to NSF/ANSI 53 and NSF/ANSI 42 for lead reduction and that you maintain it properly. Find out more on filter certification at www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/articles/contaminant-reduction-claims-guide.
- Do not boil water to reduce lead. Boiling water may increase lead.
- Identify your plumbing fixtures that contain lead and replace them with lead free fixtures.
Testing Your Water for Lead
If you are concerned about lead in your water, contact your local county health department for more resources. Visit the Cook County Department of Public Health website at cookcountypublichealth.org or call 708-836-8600.
For a list of labs offering water testing near Cook County, click here.
You also can find contact information for testing your water for lead by calling EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.