Lightfoot pushing to replace Chicago's lead water pipes as part of Biden plan

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is pushing efforts to make sure everyone in Chicago and surrounding communities has access to clean drinking water.

Lightfoot discussed those plans Thursday at the Jardine Water Purification Plant alongside city leaders and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan.

Part of President Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan is putting $111 billion towards water infrastructure nationwide. That would mean replacing lead pipes in Illinois, which has more lead service lines than any other state in the country. It would also bring jobs to the Chicago area.


But more importantly, it would ensure equitable drinking water for the more than five million people that get their water from the plant.

"Together, we can put Americans to work while eliminating this devastating public health threat and delivering environmental justice to communities that have for far too long bore the brunt of pollution," Regan said.

Las year, Chicago launched a $15 million pilot program to replace lead service lines in about 600 homes. Officials estimated nearly 400,000 homes in the city still have lead service lines.

The Jardine Water Purification Plant is the largest producer of clean drinking water in the world.