DeKalb’s discussion of lead service line replacement leaves out key provision of new law


City of DeKalb appears to be unaware that a new state law changes the rules for how lead water service lines are replaced.

During its regular meeting Monday, the city council discussed whether to use grant money to offer incentives to property owners to replace the portions of lead service lines that lie within their properties. The agenda offered two options:

  • City replaces only the public portions of the lead service lines from the mains to the private property lines.
  • City replaces the public portions of the lead service lines and offers incentives to the property owners to replace the portions on their properties.

The problem is, the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act, which came into effect in January, bans partial replacements except in emergencies. The city must replace both the public and private portions of each of these lines, leaving only a decision about whether owners will bear all, part, or none of the cost for their share.

Council devoted nearly 15 minutes of discussion on the topic and appeared to favor an incentive plan. The discussion didn’t include a formal vote, so there’s no impediment on the path back to the drawing board.

Video of the discussion is here. Start at the 15:40 mark.

The Illinois Municipal League has put out a fact sheet on the new law.

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