$67M Cost For La Grange Lead Service Lines: Village

LA GRANGE, IL – More than two-thirds of La Grange’s water customers have lead service lines that are required to be replaced under federal law, according to the village.

The total price tag is estimated at $67.5 million.

“That doesn’t include inflation or contractor availability,” Kaitlin Wright of Baxter & Woodman Consulting Engineers told the Village Board on Monday. “All communities will be required to start doing this in 2027. I would anticipate prices to increase as we move forward through this project.”

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The village hopes to replace the lead service lines as part of water main projects. Such work is needed because of the high number of main breaks in town, the village’s engineers say. The village is seeing 25 a year, more than the average of 15 for a water system the size of La Grange’s.

Last year, as part of the Brainard Avenue reconstruction project, the village replaced lead service lines for 67 houses.

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Residents paid $6,500 each, which was out of a total cost of about $12,000, according to Baxter & Woodman. Forty-nine households have paid in full, while the rest are on payment plans or in arrears.

The federal deadline is 2042. To replace all 3,558 lead service lines, La Grange will need to finish 214 a year over 17 years, engineers said.

At the board meeting, trustees said they needed to figure out how they would come up with the money for the work.

“Lead service lines need to be removed and replaced,” Village President Mark Kuchler said. “But the question is paying for it.”

Under the law, residents who refuse to change over to lead service lines must sign a waiver, which would be submitted to the state Department of Public Health.

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Those with waivers may have difficulty selling their homes because of the existence of lead service lines, officials said.

The village maintains an interactive map of where lead service lines are.

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