Matthew Kaplan Photography

Bridges//Puentes Word Water Day Evening - Hegewisch - March 22, 2023

In honor of World Water Day, Bridges//Puentes Justice Collective of the Southeast, held an art and information meet-up Wednesday evening, at the Artery_SE gallery on Baltimore Avenue in the Hegewisch neighborhood. Foremost on the agenda, beyond enjoying creative companionship, was the issue of lead water pipes in the 10th ward, and throughout Chicago.

Colored water was used to illustrate the troubling amounts of lead present in the drinking water of local homes and schools.

"There is no safe level of lead for children!" emphasized Crystal Vance of Bridges, who related learning that her son had already tested positive for elevated lead levels at the age of one.

Bridges//Puentes and many other organizations have been pushing Chicago to move much faster in its initiative to replace lead pipes with copper pipes throughout the city's aging housing stock.

According to public radio station WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago has replaced the lead service lines in only 280 homes in the last two years, out of an estimated 390,000 buildings needing the remediation. "The most in any city in the US."

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