Lead Water Service Line Information
The Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act (Public Act 102-0613) went in to effect on January 1, 2022. This Act mandates that partial water service line replacements on lead services are no longer allowed. In the event of an emergency repair that affects a lead service line, Skokie must contact the building owner to begin the process of replacing the entire line within 30 days of the repair or 120 days in the event of weather or other circumstances that prohibit construction.
What is a water service line?
It is the smaller diameter pipe that runs from the water main to a home or business. The Village of Skokie owns and maintains the portion of the service from the water main to the Buffalo Box (the round metal b-box located in the parkway) and the property owner owns and maintains the portion of the service from the Buffalo Box to the water meter inside the home. Lead was a common material used for service lines until it was banned in 1986. Copper is now used for water services.
We need your help!
The Act also requires Skokie keep an updated inventory of the type of material used for each service line. To see if Skokie has your water service line material on file, please click on the blue OK button below to accept the Disclaimer and then search for your address on the map.
If your home on the map does not have a colored dot on it, please follow the step-by-step directions below the map to determine if you have a lead or copper water service line. Once completed, please fill out the Water Service Material Line Survey.
How to determine your water service line material
Lead Service Line
1. Look for bulge (called a lead wipe) where the lead pipe connects to a valve or fitting. The bulge is a tell tale sign that the pipe is lead.
2. If you are still unsure, take a coin and scratch the pipe between the area where it comes into the home and the inlet valve. (Between the floor or wall and the first fitting - labeled "Scratch Test Area" in the photo). If the area scratched is a shiny silver color, it is lead. If the pipe remains a dull gray color, the pipe is steel.
- A magnet will not stick to a lead pipe
- A magnet will stick to a galvanized steep pipe or fitting
Note, if the pipe is covered, expose a small area of the metal.
Copper Service Line
1. There is no bulge on a copper water line.
2. Take a coin and scratch the pipe between the floor or wall and the first fitting. The color will be brown or copper; the scratched area will look like a new penny.
3. A magnet will not stick to a copper pipe. A magnet will stick to a galvanized steel pipe or fitting.
Don't forget to complete the survey!
Once you have determined your service line material, be sure to fill out the survey so that the Village can add that information to the map.
If you are still unsure, simply take a photo of your water service and include the photo as part of your survey.
My pipe is lead. Should I be concerned?
Elevated levels of lead can be hazardous, especially for pregnant women and young children. Skokie's water is treated with a blended polyphosphate to prevent copper and lead contamination but lead can still enter drinking water as a result of corrosion of materials containing lead like lead water service lines or if those lines are jostled during repair.
- When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to two minutes before using water for drinking or cooking.
- If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested.
Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800/426-4791 or at www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.
Read the Lead in Drinking Water information.
View the most recent Skokie Water Quality Report (PDF).