Lead Service Line Information
The City of Wheaton has a long history of delivering drinking water that meets or exceeds all federal and state standards for water quality as regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Safe Drinking Water Act, including compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR).
Since the inception of the LCR in 1991, water utilities have been required to monitor for lead and copper in the water distribution system. The LCR requires water suppliers to deliver water that is minimally corrosive, thereby reducing the likelihood that lead and copper will be introduced into the drinking water from the corrosion of customer lead and copper plumbing materials.
The source of drinking water for the City of Wheaton is Lake Michigan, which contains no detectable lead. Lake Michigan water is treated by the City of Chicago, which has had a corrosion control program in place since 1993. The City of Wheaton has been in compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule since its inception.
Lead piping was used in plumbing systems for thousands of years; it is soft enough to form into shapes for piping systems, and it has the ability to resist pinhole leaks. Lead can be found in some water services, interior water pipes, or interior plumbing fixtures. Prior to 1950, lead was commonly used for the installation of water service lines in Wheaton. Lead can also be found in interior plumbing fixtures and solder that connects copper plumbing in houses built prior to 1986. Lead found in drinking water usually comes from the corrosion of older fixtures or from the solder that connects pipes. When water sits in leaded pipes for several hours, lead can leach into the water supply.
To learn more about service line material inventories in Illinois, visit IEPA’s Lead Service Line Information website: Lead Service Line Information - Public Water Users (illinois.gov).
This map contains the known water service materials inventory of our water system.
What Do Lead Service Lines Look Like
Lead service lines are generally a dull gray color and are very soft. You can identify them easily by carefully scratching with a key. If the pipe is made of lead, the area you’ve scratched will turn a bright silver color. Do not use a knife or other sharp instrument and take care not to puncture a hole in the pipe.
Note: Galvanized piping can also be dull gray in color. A strong magnet will typically cling to galvanized pipes, but will not cling to lead pipes. Lead service lines can be connected to the residential plumbing using solder and have a characteristic solder “bulb” at the end, a compression fitting, or other connector made of galvanized iron or brass / bronze.