Illinois Senate Bill 1715 has been passed by both houses and will require a new rule be added to the Illinois Plumbing Code (77 Ill. Adm. Code 890) that would require a bottle filling station be provided at all locations where a drinking fountain is required to be provided. See the full text and status here. The bill requires that the rule has to be enacted by July 1, 2026. If this bill is signed by the governor, all new construction projects after the date that the rule is enacted provide water fillers, at least 10” in height, at all new drinking fountains.
Per the Illinois Plumbing Code (IPC), drinking fountains are required in most projects, with the exception of dwelling units, hotels, individual hospital rooms, and restaurants. The Illinois Plumbing Code allows for bottled water to be provided in lieu of drinking fountains, which would also likely allow for the exclusion of providing a bottle filler.
Note that the Illinois Plumbing Code requires fewer fixtures than what is required in the Chicago Plumbing Code, however all projects are subject to the most restrictive applicable code, and so the Chicago Plumbing Code must be followed. Previously, the Chicago Department of Buildings had allowed for reductions in the total number of required plumbing fixtures based on the IPC requirements, however since the 2021 updates to the plumbing code, Plumbing Fixture reductions can still be applied for on the basis of non-simultaneous occupancy or access control, but generally Alternative Code Approval Requests (ACARs) seekinga reduction on the basis of exceeding the IPC are not acceptable. Non-simultaneous occupancy is based on related spaces that will not be occupied at the same time, such as a pre-function area outside of a theater, where both spaces serve the same group of people. A large hall outside of a convention or meeting room would not qualify, as both spaces can be used simultaneously. Access control is for a space that will have a controlled/limited number of occupants at all times, such as a theater or an experiential attraction that strictly limits how many people can enter at a time.
Note that each ACAR is project/condition specific and if a reduction is approved for one project, there is no guarantee that a similar request will be approved for another project.
Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the new law, plumbing fixture requirements, or the ACAR process.