$4 Million in State Funds to Replace Rockford's Lead Service Lines
Earlier this summer, the city of Rockford received $4 million dollars-worth of 100% principal forgiveness money from the Illinois EPA to replace lead service lines.
Kyle Saunder is the director of public works for the city of Rockford. He says the city has been removing lead proactively from the distribution systems since 2016. Saunders says the city has replaced just over 1000 lines over the past six years. He says the state funds should help speed the process along.
“So we would anticipate 500 to be done with this 4 million, we're obviously gearing up for replacing at least 3% of our service line each year,” said Saunders.
In Rockford that means about 450 lines annually. The state of Illinois is estimated to have some 680,000 lead-based service lines still in operation. That’s more than any other state in the nation.
The Lead Service line Replacement and Notification Act passed last year requires that medium sized cities replace at least 3% of their service lines every year. The legislation also requires that community water suppliers complete and submit a full inventory of existing lead service lines to the Illinois EPA by 2024.
The funding come from the Illinois EPA’s State Revolving Fund, which funds drinking water, wastewater and stormwater projects.