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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.

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U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth speaks with “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Thursday, April 29, 2021. (WTTW News)

President Joe Biden made sweeping proposals in his address to Congress on Wednesday. Among them, a pledge to tackle lead in drinking water. U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth has proposed $35 billion to update water infrastructure and improve drinking water quality across the country.

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Maria del Carmen Macias was asked by the city to test the water in her Belmont Cragin home, where she offers day care. (WTTW News)

Chicago has more lead service pipes than any other U.S. city. Last year the city announced a plan to slowly replace those lines, an effort which has yet to get underway. Now, state lawmakers want to tackle the toxic problem—and they want Congress to foot the bill.

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Troy Hernandez, an environmental justice activist with Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization shows a piece of lead pipe obtained from his residence during his home renovation, Friday, April 9, 2021 in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. Hernandez recently spent $15,000 to replace the lead service lines bringing water into his home. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar)

 In the modest bungalows and two-flats of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, there’s never a shortage of needed home repairs staring residents in the face. And then there is the less obvious but more ominous problem lurking in their pipes.