If you live in a single family house or a two-flat on a block where water main replacement is planned, please volunteer to participate in Chicago’s Water Quality Study!

As part of the Chicago Department of Water Management’s (DWM) proactive approach to water quality research, DWM launched Chicago’s Water Quality Study in 2016 to investigate the possible impact of water main construction and meter installation on residential lead levels. This is the most comprehensive scientific study to explore these issues ever conducted.

The Study compares the before and after water samples from homes that have received water meter installations and from residences on blocks where the City is replacing water mains. The sampling approach in the Study is rigorous. It requires collecting four water samples for each test, making the process more likely to detect levels of lead.

Preliminary results from the Study show that water main construction causes no significant increase in residential lead levels. However, we need your help to finish the study for water mains. If there is water main installation being planned in your neighborhood, allow us to sample your water before and after the water main work.

For your participation, you will get:

  • Water testing before and after water main installation
  • A personalized profile of your home’s water
  • A $50 Visa gift card- with a chance at an additional $100 card- all completely FREE

Click here to register:

The vast majority of Chicago homes test below the EPA’s benchmark level for lead. In the event that a home tests over that level, the Department of Water Management will send out a sanitary engineer, a plumber and an electrician to investigate possible contributing factors and create a customized set of recommendations for you to help bring the level down.

The Study’s goal is to complete before and after sampling in a total of 1,200 homes near water main construction and 900homes that have received water meters. DWM contacts residents with their individual results when they become available, and broader results are posted online here. To view results from residences that are part of the study, as well as results from residents that have had their water tested as a result of a 311 request, visit www.chicagowaterquality.org.

If you do not want to participate in the Study but still want to have your water tested, just call 311 or visit www.chicagowaterquality.org to register for a free lead test kit.