The Environmental Protection Agency did these tests on a pilot basis for the first 43 homes that were excavated in zones 2 and 3. Street or construction work can sometimes disturb the “service lines” that carry water from the mains in the street through the yard into the home. When lead (or galvanized iron) service lines are disturbed, there is a chance that small particles of lead can break off and get into drinking water.
Like many older cities across the nation, East Chicago has a large percentage of service lines made of lead. It is likely that many homes in East Chicago have service lines that are made of - or contain – lead. In addition, lead plumbing components in some homes could also cause increased lead levels.