City of Lockport Identifies Elevated Levels of Lead in Drinking Water From Few Homes with Known Lead Water Service Lines or Lead Plumbing

Recent drinking water quality monitoring conducted by the City of Lockport found elevated levels of lead in  drinking water in some homes and buildings with known lead water service lines or plumbing. Lead is not present  in Lockport’s source water (wells) or distribution system nor is lead in Lockport’s treated drinking water. The  source of the elevated lead level is likely the home/building’s water service lines, solder or fixtures made of lead which can enter the building’s drinking water through the corrosion of plumbing materials. 

The results from the drinking water monitoring are representative of the homes and buildings most at-risk for lead in water – those built or plumbed before 1986.  

The City’s routine water quality sampling, under federal and state regulations, requires that, twice a year,  Lockport test 30 homes and buildings with known lead water service lines, plumbing or pipes. The EPA action level  for lead is exceeded when more than 10 percent of these homes have lead-in-water levels above 15 parts per  billion. In the first half of 2023, the City completed the routine sampling and of the 30 homes sampled, 3 were  found to have lead levels above the action level. In the most recent round of testing, the City has sampled 30 sites,  and 4 of the 30 homes tested were above the action level. When results are above regulation limits, the City is required to notify the public and promote education and possible corrective action.  

Over the past 5 years, Lockport has replaced the publicly owned portion of lead water service lines (water main to shut-off valve) during capital improvement projects. This initiative has replaced approximately 62 lead service  lines since 2019.  

With still approximately 176+ known lead water services lines within Lockport, and possibly more unknown, the City plans to continue improvement projects in 2024-25.  

If your residence or building has known lead water service, pipes or plumbing, The City of Lockport would like you to participate in the water sampling program. For more information on this twice-a-year water sampling program,  please visit or call 815-88-0549, option 8.

Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources,  especially for pregnant women and children 6 years or younger. Lead can cause damage to the brain and kidneys,  and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. Scientists have  linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood  pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults. Lead is stored in the bones, and it can be  released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’s bones, which may affect brain  development. 

What the City of Lockport is doing? 

Lockport is taking the following actions to protect and educate the public by:    

  • Providing an interactive online dashboard enabling the public to view the City’s lead service line replacement actions. This online dashboard shows progress of water service line replacements and offers a lookup of lead service lines by address. For more information visit Lockport’s website. 
  • Increasing lead exposure education to Lockport’s water customers through water bill mailings and event presence.
  • Improving the corrosion control treatment at City water treatment plants to enhance scaling on the inside of lead pipes.
  • Continuing to replace lead service lines as part of Capital Improvement Projects in 2024 and beyond until all lead services are replaced.
  • Confirming water service line material for all unknown water service lines.

What the public can do? 

You can proactively take these steps below to reduce your risk of lead exposure: 

  • Run your drinking water faucet to flush out lead. If your drinking water faucets have not been used for several hours, run the water for at least 30 seconds before using it for drinking or cooking. This will flush any lead that may be present in the interior plumbing.  
  • Use cold water for cooking. Hot water is held in the hot water heater and pipes longer than cold water, increasing the potential for lead exposure from plumbing.
  • Test your water for lead. Testing water from your home/business faucet is the best way to determine if it contains lead. A list if accredited water testing laboratories can be found at the City of Lockport’s website. Use water filters to remove lead. Consider filtering all water to be used for drinking or cooking with a  filter certified by the National Sanitation Foundation. A comprehensive list can be found at the NSF  website: 
  • Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Replace lead water service lines, pipes and plumbing.

Don’t know if you have a lead service line?  

Look up your address on the City of Lockport’s service line material dashboard and search by address. If the  service line is still unknown, call Lockport Public Works at 815-838-0549, option 8 to schedule an inspection.


Call Lockport Public Works at 815-838-0549, option 8 or visit the City of Lockport’s website for more information.  

For information on reducing lead exposure around your home/building and the health effects of lead, visit  the EPA’s website at or contact your healthcare provider. 

City of Lockport press release