The city of Rock Island is getting $50,000 from the state of Illinois to help identify service lines that may contain lead.

“The well-documented adverse health effects of exposure to lead in drinking water poses a serious risk to our children,” Illinois State Sen. Mike Halpin (D-Rock Island) said in a Friday release. “Funding to identify the city’s lead service lines will help keep our families protected.”

Mike Halpin on 4 The Record ( file photo)

Senator Halpin voted for the legislation creating the Lead Service Line Replacement Notification Act in 2021. The law establishes timelines and requirements for the removal and replacement of all lead service lines in Illinois and creates a low-income water assistance program to help fund financial assistance and water projects that include lead pipe replacement.

Illinois has more lead service lines than any other state in the nation, with an estimated 730,000 to 1.4 million lead service lines in the ground, Halpin’s release said. There is no safe level of exposure to lead.  

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave a total of $2 million in Lead Service Line Inventory grants to 48 communities to assist in meeting the requirements outlined in the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act. The grants, ranging from $20,000 to $50,000, will fund the creation of a complete lead service line inventory.

A Denver Water crew works to replace a lead water service line installed in 1927 with a new copper one at a private home on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Denver. While President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill proposes $45 million for eliminating lead pipes and service lines, some utility companies and municipalities have already started replacing them. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)

The law requires owners and operators of community water supplies (CWS) in Illinois to submit a complete water service line material inventory for the Illinois EPA’s approval no later than April 15, 2024. The complete inventory must report the composition of all service lines within the CWS’s distribution system.

“This funding will provide many communities with the necessary funding to develop a complete inventory identifying the types of water lines that exist in their drinking water supplies,” Illinois EPA director John J. Kim said in a press release.

“Illinois EPA received a tremendous response to this funding opportunity, receiving 101 grant applications from villages and cities throughout the state and exceeding the funding made available for this initial funding opportunity,” he said. “Thanks to recent legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Pritzker, we will be able to open a new funding cycle the coming weeks to assist even more communities.”