Chicago suburb to replace lead service lines using federal funds

There are roughly 11,000 lead service lines in suburban Skokie, and on Tuesday, city officials got a big financial boost to replace those lines.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky says Illinois has more lead service lines than any other state in the U.S.

The Democrat stopped by the Skokie City Hall building on Tuesday to present the mayor with a $2 million check to replace some of its service lines.

City officials say more than 11,000 of Skokie’s 17,000 service lines need to be replaced — a project that would cost more than $80 million to complete.

Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen says this funding is a good starting point and should cover about 200 lines.


High levels of lead in water can lead to health effects, including brain and kidney damage.

"Lead is one of the things that is most toxic to our children. We don't want our children from an early time to be consuming water, fresh waster out of a spigot, out of the faucet, that could actually give them lead poisoning," Rep. Schakowsky said.

The congresswoman says in total she has $25 million to distribute across her district, which includes Evanston.

Separately, the federal government is investing $15 billion nationwide to replace lead service lines.