Galesburg will replace 2,000 lead water service lines for free

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GALESBURG, Illinois - Galesburg city leaders have laid out plans to replace thousands of lead water lines.

Last summer, lead was discovered in the water supple of dozens of homes.

It's a problem that's finally seeing a solution.

While the water in Galesburg is fine, the problem is about 3,000 lines leading to homes are made of lead. The city will replace most of those lines thanks to a loan from the Illinois EPA.

"The $4 million forgivable loan from the Illinois EPA will help us hopefully remove about 2,000 of those lead service lines," said Mayor, John Pritchard.

Work on the first 500 service lines will start spring 2017.

"I think it's great, I mean I'm all for it. I`m glad that it's not going to cost the homeowner anything because I know one lady had it done on her own and it cost her over $6,000 dollars," said Judy Clayton, who has lead in her water.

The city looked at some criteria when choosing what lines to replace first.

"Take care of any of the homes in the city where children lived that tested high for lead levels in their blood," said Mayor Pritchard.

The city will then move onto homes where tap water tested well above lead standards. Low income to moderate income households would come next.

The grant covers two-thirds of the lines that need to be replaced. City leaders say they're working to apply for more grants to cover the rest of the service lines.