Questions About Lead Piping Surface At Village Workshop | Journal & Topics Media Group

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Director of Public Works Director Sean Dorsey presented his 2022 budget presentation at the Mount Prospect Joint Village Board and Finance Commission Workshop Oct. 12. Early in Dorsey’s presentation, Vince Grochocinski, a member of the finance commission, asked about the existence of lead piping in village homes, as well as larger pipes that feed into the homes.

Mount Prospect has been testing drinking water for lead and copper since 1991. Originally, the village was mandated to test 100 homes every year, and in those years they found almost no recordings of toxic levels of lead. In subsequent years, the village was approved to reduce the number of home tests to 30 and the testing frequency to every three years. Virtually no incidents of toxic levels of lead have been uncovered in the village spanning three decades.

However, recently federal and state laws have been updated and now require every community to inspect and take inventory of every home with any presence of lead in their pipes. Since the inspection began, the village has processed 5,000 of its 12,000 customers. Of those 5,000, they found 500 homes with lead present in some piping, a lower number than the village anticipated. Some of the homes contain lead pipes, and some have copper pipes with lead joints. Homes built after 1986 do not have lead joints in their copper piping. One home that came up positive was Mayor Paul Hoefert’s home, however, he subsequently tested his water and it proved to be safe.

Hoefert opened up discussion about Flint, Michigan, and their water crisis in 2014. Dorsey clarified the incident in Flint and explained that Flint stopped adding phosphorus to its pipes, a necessary coating process that protects minerals and metals from dissolving into standing water. After discontinuing the phosphorus, combined with changing the water source, which changed the chemistry within the pipes, the drinking water proved toxic. Dorsey stated that this is not an issue in Mount Prospect.

The home pipe inspection includes checking the water main to the meter. “The goal is to inspect the piping coming into your house, coming into your meter, and determine if it is lead or not,” said Dorsey. “We’re going door to door, looking for everyone’s cooperation.” If the presence of lead is found in the piping, the responsibility lies on the water purveyors, such as the village and other private utility companies for piping replacement.

Dorsey said that the first step is to identify the number of homes and then compile the costs. When they have all the data, they will address the board. Depending on costs, they could request grant funding or low-interest loans to pay for the project. “At the end of the day it is going to be our responsibility,” said Dorsey.

Grochocinski asked about the major pipes that lead into the service lines. Grochocinski asked if those were ever lead pipes. Dorsey responded that they typically were not lead. He said that the oldest pipe in the village is cast iron and it dates back to the 1920s. He said most of the village pipes have been replaced during routine village projects and have been updated over the years.

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via Journal Online

November 10, 2021 at 05:06PM

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