Some Chicago residents who thought they were getting a new water meter ended up with more than they bargained for: lead in their drinking water.

On July 9, Mayor Lori Lightfoot suspended a water meter installation program after testing found elevated levels of lead in 1 in 5 metered homes sampled. Many of the city's service lines are still made of lead, which can release contamination into the water for months or even years if they're disturbed by street work or repairs—including the installation of water meters.

Andre Delattre, senior vice president of The Public Interest Network, which includes Illinois PIRG, was among those affected. "No family should have to worry if the water coming out of their taps is unsafe for their kids," Andre said.

Illinois PIRG and our national network are calling for the proactive removal of all lead-bearing parts of our drinking water systems, starting in schools.

Read the story in the Chicago Tribune.

Photo Credit: Public domain