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(WTTW News)

One in 20 tap water samples taken from thousands of Chicagoans found lead levels at or above federal limits, according to a recent analysis by the Guardian. It also found that nine of the top 10 ZIP codes with the largest percentages of high test results were in neighborhoods with majority Black and Latino residents.

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

Despite promises, a federally-funded program has removed just 154 lead service lines from Chicago homes as of Monday, according to data provided to WTTW News by the Department of Water Management.

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FILE - Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. Lead pipes have caused harm for decades. In recent years, residents in Newark and Benton Harbor, Mich., were forced to use bottled water for basic needs like cooking and drinking, after tests revealed elevated levels of lead. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

As billions of dollars in new federal funding becomes available to address the problem of lead pipes contaminating drinking water, some places are in a better position than others to quickly apply for funds and start digging.

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(WTTW News)

The unanimous vote of the City Council’s Budget and Government Operations Committee sends the proposal backed by Lightfoot to the full City Council for consideration at its meeting on May 25. 

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A water lead testing kit. (WTTW News)

Lead service lines connect approximately 400,000 Chicago homes with water mains buried under city streets, and can leach a brain-damaging chemical into drinking water. 

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(WTTW News)

In an interview with “Chicago Tonight” Tuesday, Department of Water Commissioner Andrea Cheng said officials are confident both regular and ultrasonic water meters can be safely installed in Chicago homes without threatening the health of residents. 

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

Department of Water Management Commissioner Andrea Cheng said federal funding will “jump-start” Chicago’s efforts to remove the lead service. Cheng acknowledged logistical challenges have meant the program has failed to achieve what Lightfoot promised in September 2020, when she vowed that the city would remove 650 pipes by the end of 2021.

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(WTTW News)

In recent years, a patchwork of government and nonprofit programs have ramped up, offering help with lead testing and mitigation. But the need still far outstrips the available assistance, especially for high-priority places like child care facilities.

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill includes $15 billion to fund lead service replacement efforts, and $3 billion will flow to states and cities in 2022, officials announced.

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(WTTW News)

The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan signed into law Monday by President Joe Biden includes $1.7 billion that will help Chicago “kick-start” lagging efforts to replace lead service lines responsible for contaminating the tap water in homes across the city, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. 

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

The commissioner of the Chicago Department of Water Management told members of the City Council that it was “quite impressive” that city crews had replaced 10 of the approximately 400,000 lead service lines responsible for contaminating Chicagoans’ tap water in 13 months.

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(WTTW News)

As Chicago inches toward the replacement of its lead service lines, officials need help identifying where those pipes are. Here’s a simple way to determine whether you’ve got lead, steel or copper lines running into your home.

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan that advanced Tuesday in the Senate includes $15 billion to replace the lead service lines responsible for contaminating the tap water in approximately 10 million homes across the country.

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A water lead testing kit. (WTTW News)

Lead service lines connect approximately 400,000 Chicago homes with water mains buried under city streets, and can leach a brain-damaging chemical into drinking water. 

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A worker with Denver Water prepares to pass a new copper water service line from a residential water meter to the water main on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo / Brittany Peterson)

Included in the bipartisan infrastructure deal reached with President Joe Biden last week is a plan to eliminate the country’s remaining lead pipes and service lines, which for decades have posed a risk for contaminated water in millions of homes and schools.

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A water lead testing kit. (WTTW News)

The city has yet to replace a single lead service line in the eight months that have elapsed since Mayor Lori Lightfoot rolled out her plan, officials acknowledged.