Fehr Graham helped the City of Sycamore take advantage of a federal program that will pay to replace lead water pipes. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director John J. Kim announced more than $4 million in funding for the project.
Fehr Graham has helped clients secure more than $25 million in lead service line replacement funding and has replaced more than 1,000 service lines for municipalities. Funding for Sycamore's project will come from the EPA's State Revolving Fund (SRF), which provides low-interest loans for drinking water, wastewater and stormwater projects. The City will not have to repay the loan. Sycamore plans to replace about 365 lead service lines.
As a result of the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act, which became effective Jan. 1, 2022, owners and operators of Illinois community water supplies have been working to develop comprehensive water service line material inventories and replacement plans. Sycamore is just one example of many communities that are identifying and replacing lead service lines with funding available through Illinois EPA's State Revolving Fund. We look forward to our continued work with our communities working to address this important issue."
John J. Kim, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director
This is the second lead service line replacement project the Illinois EPA has funded for Sycamore. Fehr Graham also helped the City secure more than $1.6 million in funding a year ago to replace 120 lead service lines. The Fehr Graham team helped navigate EPA requirements and create a bid package. The firm was on-site for construction management and observation.
Service lines are small pipes that carry drinking water from water mains into homes. Homes built before 1986 could have service lines that contain lead. Lead is a naturally occurring element found in all parts of our environment that is toxic if ingested by humans or animals. Eliminating lead service lines will help reduce lead exposure for residents.
The Illinois EPA provides lead service line replacement principal forgiveness for projects that reduce or eliminate lead from potable water. To date, the Illinois EPA has provided nearly $85 million in funding for lead service line replacement. Principal forgiveness for these projects is available up to a maximum of $4 million per loan recipient until funding is gone.