Freshwater Weekly: April 30, 2021

Posted on May 3, 2021 by

April 30, 2021

This week: Chicago Water Council Enrolling People in Utility Bill Relief Program + Ohio Organizations Request $1 Billion for Safer Water + U.S. Infrastructure Bill Moves Forward with Bipartisan Support + Two Love Birds — Monty and Rose

Chicago Water Council Enrolling People in Utility Bill Relief Program

The Chicago Water Council’s Jeff Whitelow has been assisting residents in Englewood and Southside Chicago neighborhoods with identifying their eligibility for the Utility Billing Relief Program that forgives 100% of residents debts after one year of consistent payment on a water bill. The multiple steps or lack of access to technology can create barriers to enrollment. Visiting food pantries, Jeff and other volunteers set-up a table and offer immediate help to enroll in the program.

Ohio Organizations Seeking Endorsements for $1 Billion Request for Safer Water

A variety of Ohio, regional and national, organizations representing medical, environmental, housing, and community interests are requesting $1 billion of the proposed more than $5 billion the state will receive in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to be dedicated to residential full lead service line replacements. Ohio is second in the nation for lead service lines at an estimated 650,000 lines. The American Medical Association and CDC have determined there is no safe level of lead in humans. Impacts to children exposed to lead include: neurological disorders, decreased cognitive behaviors, lower IQ, ADHD, and kidney disease. If you are involved in an organization that would like to support this request, please contact Kristy Meyer at

U.S. Senate Passes Water Infrastructure Bill with Bipartisan Support

Just yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, a $35 billion water infrastructure package, 89-2. This bill is a good first step in providing necessary funding to communities suffering from poor water quality and antiquted infrastructure. The bill now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. 

Two Love Birds–Monty and Rose

Monty and Rose, a pair of piping plovers, have reunited and returned to Chicago after spending the winter apart. Bird enthusiasts also known as “birders” in Chicago have kept a particularly close eye on this endangered fowl couple and stepped up to ensure their protection as they begin the nesting season.


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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.