Home / Blog / Barrington to begin removing hundreds of lead water lines leading to homes

Barrington to begin removing hundreds of lead water lines leading to homes

Aug 26, 2023Aug 26, 2023

Barrington will begin work in September to replace lead service lines carrying water to about 250 homes in town. It's the start of a yearslong effort to replace as many as 1,000 lead service lines. Rick West | Staff Photographer, 2022

Barrington is embarking on an extensive project next month to replace lead service lines that carry water into dozens of the village's homes.

The village has received $4 million from the state's Public Water Supply Loan Program to carry out the work. The loan is forgivable with no interest. If Barrington were to secure funding in the next year for another project, the village would have to pay 1.61% interest.

The village has approximately 1,000 lead service lines, Village Manager Scott Anderson said. The $4 million will cover work on up to 250 of them.

A service line connects the water main in the street with the water meter in the house. It includes both a village-owned component between the water main and the curb box that houses the shut-off valve and a homeowner-owned component between the box and the water meter.

The village has been preparing for the work for more than eight months, including taking inventory of the village's stock of service lines, Anderson said. Now it is ready for the construction phase.

Anderson said the work is a response to a state mandate, not because of any concerns over health risks associated with the lead service lines.

In 2021, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act into law, making Illinois the third state in the nation to require full replacement of lead drinking water pipes.

At the time of the bill's signing, Illinois had more lead pipes than any other state in the nation, with at least 686,000 connecting homes to

water mains.

Contractor Holiday Sewer & Water Construction Inc. will target two replacements per day, with completion by September 2024, officials said. Most lead piping will be abandoned in place and replaced with copper.

The village is ahead of the game, since it is not required to begin replacing lead service lines until 2027.

It has 15 years to replace all of them at a rate of at least 7% per year.

The village has been working with Sugar Grove-based Engineering Enterprises Inc. to help navigate through the state environmental requirements.

The firm's vice president, Steve Dennison, said there will be individual meetings between the contractor and residents three to 14 days prior to the replacement if access to a home is required.