The Department of Water Management delivers nearly 1 billion gallons of drinking water to residents of Chicago and 125 suburbs daily. We also remove waste water and storm runoff through the sewer system. Our mission is to efficiently provide the highest quality drinking water to the Chicago region while protecting our most precious natural resource- Lake Michigan.

Do you wonder if you have a lead service line? Check out DWM’s new citywide Service Line Inventory

On the Service Line Inventory, you will see what our records show both the private and public side of service lines citywide to be made of. If you see that part of your line is labeled “Suspected Lead”, this determination is made based on the age and size of your building because there has not yet been field verification of its content.

You should know:

  • The Department of Water Management (DWM) has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information on this website is accurate according to the information available to us, but accuracy is not in any way guaranteed.
  • Having a lead service line does not automatically mean you have elevated levels of lead in the water. DWM adds corrosion control to the water to help prevent lead from leaching into the water. Each house has different test results based on factors such as water usage (which refreshes the corrosion control coating in your pipes), interior plumbing, and previous periods of vacancy. To check the levels of lead in your water, call 311 for free water testing.
  • In Chicago, lead paint is by far the biggest source of lead poisoning in children. It is a good idea to check your house for lead paint while also checking to see if you have a lead service line.
  • All young children should have their blood lead levels tested by their pediatrician - see more info here.


Avoid water in your basement 

As our climate changes, we are seeing more intense storms than we have in past years. Our sewer system can get overwhelmed by these huge downpours and more of us are finding water in our basements. In Chicago, the sewer system also handles rainwater removal. The Chicago Department of Water Management is working closely with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to increase the capacity of our drainage systems.

There are some steps homeowners can take to help prevent water from backing up into their basements:

  • Disconnect downspout connections from the sewer system.
  • Make sure to direct downspout flow to areas with permeable surfaces that can properly absorb the stormwater or use rain barrels to collect the water directly from the downspouts.
  • Avoid running a dishwasher or washing machine during storms.
  • Clear the area around downspouts to allow water to flow freely away from your foundation.
  • Clear drains and sewers of debris and snow to allow drainage for melting.
  • Do not dump fats/oils/greases in private drains or public catch basins.
  • For better resistance to flooding in the future, it can be helpful to install rain gardens, green landscaping, or stormwater trees in your yard to help retain rainwater.

Flooding Information Flyer


Flushing Your Water System 

Now that your old water main has been replaced and your water service has been connected to the new water main, it is important to flush your plumbing of any sediment, rust or metals, including any lead to maintain water quality.

Consumer Lead Testing Results and Requests  

Construction Projects

Neighborhood construction projects involving water and sewer main replacements.

Department Main Office

Water Management
  • Phone: 312.744.4420
    Toll Free:
    Fax: 312.744.7119
  • 1000 East Ohio Street
    Chicago, IL 60611   
    Get Directions
  • Leadership
    Andrea R.H. Cheng, Ph.D., P.E.
    Commissioner of Water Management

Department Facts

Additional Information


  Do you have a question, concern or a request? Send us an email from this link


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