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The easiest way to promote water quality at home is to flush your water system every day. There are several things you can easily do to make flushing your water system a part of your daily routine. Everyday chores such as washing the dishes, laundry or taking a shower or watering the lawn all count towards keeping your water moving. It’s particularly important to flush your system for 5 minutes after it has been stagnant for six hours or more to maintain water quality.
To have a complete understanding of what it takes to protect water quality, the City of Chicago commissioned Chicago’s Water Quality Study in 2016 to investigate the possible impact on drinking water of installing water mains or water meters. This is the biggest study of its kind ever conducted. The Study compares the before and after water samples from homes that have received water meter installations and from residences on blocks where the City is replacing water mains. The sampling approach in the Study is rigorous. It requires collecting four water samples for each test, making the process more likely to detect elevated levels of lead.
If you are interested in participating in the Study and have registered to receive a free water meter installation please click here.
As a thank you for your participation, Study participants will receive:
If you are concerned about the potential of elevated lead levels in your home's water, you may wish to have your water tested. If you are interested in having your home water tested please click here.
You can request a DWM representative to come to your home to take water samples or request a test kit and collect the samples yourself. The test kit consists of three bottles, a mailing box, and instructions. Follow the instructions included in your kit for collecting water samples in your home, put the bottles in the shipping box and place it in a location (such as the entryway or front door) for pick up by Department of Water Management (DWM) staff.
Remember flushing your water system is the best way to promote water quality at home. If your service line has been connected to a new water main it is important to flush your plumbing of any sediment, rust or metals, including any lead to maintain water quality.
Sediment, rust and metals, including any lead may collect in the aerator screen located at the tip of your faucets. These screens should be removed prior to flushing.
Homeowners should follow the intensive flushing protocol after water system work.