Slowly but surely, old lead water service lines to homes in Galesburg are being replaced.
There's no lead in the city's water, but many older homes in Galesburg have lead in their connections. So the city is using a 4 million dollar forgivable loan from the Illinois EPA to replace the lead lines - 400 this year and 600 next year.
Public Works Director, Wayne Carl, hopes to find funding for 500 more in 2019, and eventually replace a total of 3,000.
"We're trying to work from the lowest income areas first - they're the least able to pay to have their lines replaced. And we're also doing anyone's that have tested above 15 parts-per-billion - we make those a priority."
Carl says the city will test a home-owner's water for free if the connection uses lead pipes, and provide a free filter if the lead level is above the US EPA thresh-hold of 15 parts per billion. Below that level, filters are recommended, and home-owners are also welcome to hire a plumber themselves to replace their old water lines.
Galesburg is also adding more chemicals to prevent lead from leaching into home water supplies.