Call for Participants: Is Your Water Affected by U...

Call for Participants: Is Your Water Affected by Unsafe Lead Levels?

Join 14 East’s Water Testing Project to find out.

The Flint water crisis drew national attention to the consequences, both short and long term, of high lead levels in tap water. So far, the Flint water crisis has affected thousands of homes, sickened 90 people and killed 12. Lead water poisoning, though, reaches further than Flint, Michigan. In fact, across Lake Michigan, here in Chicago, city officials, activists and residents are beginning to learn how the city’s tap water might be affected by a similar problem.

In November, the city released a previously secret, five-year-old study. It found that nearly 20 percent of Chicago homes with water meters has unsafe lead levels, according to EPA standards, the Chicago Tribune reported.

14 East wants to know if DePaul students are affected by unsafe lead levels in their water, and we need your help to find out.

The City of Chicago offers free water testing kits for Chicago residents to test their water. Our project will use these tests to explore how students are affected by tap water lead poisoning.

So, if you are interested in working with us (and testing your water), sign up for our project. We ask for some personal information (like your name and address), but we won’t publish that information. It’s just the information we need to order your water test. When we publish our story, your zipcode/ward will not be associated with your personal information.

Case sensitive water test flyer

(Jenni Holtz, 14 East)

Once you sign up, you’ll hear from one of our reporters by February 3. They will serve as your go-to guide for the project. If you have any questions or concerns, they’ll be your first point of contact.  

Once you test your water, the reporter will invite you (and other students they are working with) to coffee on us. Here, you’ll talk about how the project went, why you participated in it and other issues/topics you care about.

This is also a time when you can tell us what you think about our work — what are we doing right? What are we doing wrong? Where can we improve?

If you have any questions about the project, feel free to send us an email. Otherwise, we’re excited to be working with you.

This investigation is made possible by funding through the Illinois Humanities, News Integrity Initiative and the MacArthur Foundation.


Header illustration by Jenni Holtz

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