Chicago contains 400,000 lead service lines that connect the water main to the faucets in local homes, parks, schools, and more. A whopping 80% of Chicago homes are affected, posing health risks associated with lead exposure including lead poisoning.

Although Chicago’s mayor has a plan in place for updating the city’s service lines, this plan will take decades to complete. Meanwhile, lead continues to buildup in the bodies of those who drink water from these service lines.

What’s the big deal?

Lead poisoning occurs as lead builds up in the body over a period of months or years, but even small amounts of lead can lead to health hazards. Especially in children under six years old. At high levels, lead poisoning is often fatal.

Symptoms of lead poisoning in children include:

  • Developmental Delays
  • Learning Difficulty
  • Loss of Appetite and Weight Loss
  • Irritable Mood
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Hearing Loss
  • Seizures

Children are not the only ones affected by lead exposure. Adults can experience high blood pressure, joint and muscle pain, memory and concentration difficulty, headaches, abdominal pain, mood changes, and fertility problems.

Chicago’s mayor estimates that it will take “multiple decades” to complete the repiping plan, and this plan is comprised of three phases:

  • Phase 1: Low-income residents with high levels of lead in their water can apply for free lead service line replacements.
  • Phase 2: Residents who pay to get their service lines replaced are offered a discount on the work by waiving city permit fees.
  • Phase 3: Lead lines are replaced by city block at the same time the water mains for that block are replaced.

If you live in the Chicago area, you might be aware of the city’s lead piping problem. You might know about the mayor’s plan, but you might not know what to do about ensuring the safety of the water in your own home.

What Can You Do Now to Protect Your Household from Lead?

If you're concerend about lead in your home's water, John Baethke & Son Plumbing is here to help. We provide a variety of solutions that can improve the health of your home's water:


We provide top-notch repiping services from licensed Chicago plumbers. As one of the area’s most trusted plumbing companies since 1993, we can assess your pipes and provide you with a quality, cost-effective solution. 

Water Filtration

Whole-home water filtration systems are important because they remove dangerous chemicals and minerals that lead to a myriad of health problems, including cancer. We provide some of the most reliable systems in the industry. Features include:

  • Removal of Chlorine, Chloramine, PFAS, PFOS, and Lead
  • Capacity of 8+ GMP Per Unit
  • Filter Cartridges Last 1-2 Years; Landfill Safe
  • Electronic Meter and Indicator Notifies When Filter Needs Replacing
  • Includes Bypass Valve and Drain Valve
  • Built-In Pressure Relief Valve

There is no safe amount of lead. If you live in the Chicago area, take steps to learn about what is being done about the service line pipes in your area. 

To learn more about the repiping and whole-home water filtration services offered by John Baethke & Son Plumbing, give us a call today or use our online form to request a project cost estimate.