Water Quality & Lead Standards

The Village of Arlington Heights Water Utility is proud to provide high-quality drinking water that is clean and safe for you and your family to consume. In fact, the water supplied by the Village complies with all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) standards, including those for lead.

It is important to note that there is no adverse situation currently affecting the quality of our water supply. The Village simply wants water consumers to be informed as much as possible when it comes to your drinking water.

Beginning in 1985, the Village changed from a deep well ground water source to Lake Michigan surface water. The City of Evanston provides complete water treatment and filtration of all water supplied to Village of Arlington Heights municipal water customers. The Evanston plant adds fluoride and chlorine to the water in accordance with State and Federal guidelines. Additionally, the Evanston plant adds poly orthophosphate as a corrosion inhibitor to guard against lead and copper contamination of the drinking water supply. The Northwest Water Commission (NWC) receives water from the Evanston plant and distributes the water to the four NWC member communities, which includes Arlington Heights.

History of Lead in Plumbing

Lead pipes were commonly used in homes built in the early 20th century as lead was a less expensive and more durable option than iron. Concerns about lead poisoning contributed to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1986. The SDWA prohibited the use of pipes, solder or flux that were not “lead free” in public water systems or plumbing in facilities providing water for human consumption. At the time "lead free” was defined as solder and flux with no more than 0.2% lead and pipes with no more than 8% lead content.

In 1991, the EPA published the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) which regulates the concentration of lead and copper permitted in public drinking water by regularly sampling at the consumer’s tap. The LCR established an action level of 15.0 parts per billion (ppb) for lead based on the 90th percentile level of tap water samples. This means that no more than 10 percent of samples can be above the action level. The action level is the concentration of lead in tap water which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow. If lead levels are found above the action levels, it does not signal a violation but can trigger additional requirements.

Schedule an Inspection

Residents may contact a licensed plumber or call the Public Works Department at 847.368.5800 to schedule an internal inspection of their incoming water line by Village personnel. Staff can schedule the appointment and our technicians may be able to determine whether or not the water service line entering your home is lead. These inspections are not always conclusive and only give an indication of the pipe material in the portion between the home and the shut off valve.