Schools reporting lead levels in water
Out-of-order signs on some sinks and water fountains at North Greene Elementary School keep the fixtures dry, even though the school recently completed renovations that replaced much of the school’s plumbing.
That was right before testing showed elevated levels of lead in the school’s water.
“We replaced pipes and all water fountains during the renovations,” Scott said.
Then Ideal Environmental Engineering ran state-mandated lead tests, which showed 11 of 31 tested sites in the school with lead contamination, six of them above the 5 parts per billion at which schools are required to report the results to parents.
“The 5 parts per billion signifies the level for which schools must notify individuals.” Five drinking fountains at North Greene Elementary tested at 9.04 ppb, 6.40 ppb, 6.9 ppb, 10.1 ppb and 18.8 ppb.
A sink in a pre-kindergarten room also tested high, at 5.01 ppb.
Armed with the test results, the North Greene district contacted CTS Group, the company that completed the renovations.
“They came in and flushed all of our sinks, fountains and plumbing,” Scott said.
“We are just waiting for the testing to verify that.” A test in September in Jacksonville School District 117 did not register any levels above 5 ppb, though four testing sites out of 100 showed some levels of lead.
School districts must report test results to the Illinois Department of Public Health and implement plans to clean the water systems, if necessary.