ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Rockford $4 million to replace 960 lead water pipes.

Many homes built before 1990 have lead service lines bringing water into their homes, which can corrode over time and release lead into the drinking water.

“Lead is a toxin that can accumulate in the body and cause serious illness or even death,” said Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford). “This funding protects public water supplies and helps Rockford and other cities across the state replace these aging water pipes before IEPA deadlines kick in.”

The award is Rockford’s fifth from IEPA State Revolving Fund, which provides principal forgiveness loans that don’t have to be repaid. Rockford has received $16 million to replace lead service lines since 2019, with $4 million being the program’s maximum award amount.

Since 2017, the IEPA has provided $105 million in funding for lead service line replacement statewide.