Water Quality Information

Overview


The Village takes the health, well-being and safety of all water customers very seriously. This page overviews the Village's basic water quality information and focuses heavily on questions that have been previously received about lead. Customers are encouraged to review this page and contact the Village directly with any questions or concerns.

Background

 on Lead in Water Supplies

Lead is a metal found in natural deposits which is harmful to human health. The most common means of ingestion of lead is swallowing or inhaling lead paint chips and dust. However, drinking water can also contain lead. Be assured that the Village of Northbrook continues to work to provide safe, high-quality drinking water to residents and business within the community

Lake Michigan water is virtually lead free and water leaving Northbrook's Water Plant is lead free. Lead contamination, if it does occur, results from corrosion of the element from lead service lines and/or household plumbing. To protect Northbrook's water supply from potential lead contamination, poly-orthophosphate is added to Northbrook's water supply to form a protective coating inside of water lines and plumbing fixtures to reduce the possibility of lead leaching into the water.

Consumer Confidence


On-going sampling has confirmed that lead levels in the water supplied by the Village to our customers are undetectable. Northbrook's water supply meets all Illinois Environmental Protection Agency standards, and has consistently met these standards for many years. View past years Consumer Confidence Reports:

Lead Service Lines


The service line connects your home to the Village's water main. The Village owns the portion of the line between the water main and the shutoff valve located in the parkway. The property owner is responsible for the line between the shutoff valve and the house. In homes built before the mid-1950s, the service line was constructed of lead pipe, but any service lines installed after this date were required to be made of copper. In the case of demolitions and large-scale remodels, the Village began to require copper services lines be installed in 1990 and 1995, respectively.

If the water main was replaced on your block after 1988, the service line from the water main to the shutoff valve in the parkway was replaced with copper pipe. However, the homeowner's portion of the service line, from the house to the shutoff valve, may still be lead pipe.

The homeowner can look at the pipe material prior to water meter to determine the type of pipe. Lead pipe will have a grey color whereas copper pipe is dark orange in color, for more information view the Lead Service Line Visual Aid (PDF).

Lead Solder


Solder is used to connect metal piping. In 1986, lead solder was banned from use in household plumbing. If your house was built before 1986, your plumbing may have lead solder.

Brass Faucets, Valves & Fittings


Almost all faucets, valves and fittings have brass components. Until 2014, brass faucets and fittings sold in the U.S. and labeled "lead-free" could contain up to 8% lead. Effective January 2014, The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act specifies that these materials may not contain more than 0.25% lead.

History of Lead in the Village of Northbrook


  • 1950: The Village began requiring copper service lines for all new construction homes.
  • 1986: Lead-based solder in plumbing was banned.
  • 1988: The Village began replacing the portion of lead services in the right of way with copper that was encountered during water main replacement projects.
  • 1990: The Village began requiring the replacement of lead lines for properties being demolished.
  • 1992: The Village began IEPA mandated lead/copper sampling with 60 homes being tested each year
  • 1995: The Village began requiring the replacement of lead lines for properties undergoing significant remodeling work involving plumbing systems with Standard Operating Procedure 81-015-2 (PDF) and began to add poly-orthophosphate to our water for lead and copper corrosion.
  • 1996: The Village developed Standard Operating Procedure 81-023-00 (PDF) which provides a cost sharing mechanism for customers with lead services lines.
  • 2000: The IEPA reduced the samples from 60 samples each year to 30 samples every three years due to the Village having successful test results.
  • 2002: From 2002 to present lead samples taken in accord with the Lead/Copper Rule have resulted in only two locations where the level of lead exceeded the IEPA action level of 15 micro grams per liter. Subsequent sampling at these locations demonstrated levels below this limit. Testing at locations where lead lines have been disturbed indicates that sometimes lead levels do rise after such disturbances, normally decreasing within a few weeks or months.

For Questions or Concerns

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Village's water supply or quality, please contact the Public Works Department at 847-272-4711.