Lead in Drinking Water


Lead, a neurotoxin, is especially harmful to children under six years old due to their rapid brain and nervous system development. It can negatively impact growth, behavior, and learning abilities in children.

Recent data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) indicates that 88% of samples from Illinois schools have detected some level of lead in water. This widespread issue underscores the importance of proactive measures and continuous monitoring.


In response to this statewide concern, we have implemented a lead testing and mitigation program. This goes beyond the minimum requirements to ensure the highest standards for our schools.

  • Initial Testing: We first tested all water fixtures in 2017, establishing a baseline for our mitigation efforts.

  • Installation of Filtered Drinking Fountains: To reduce lead exposure, we’ve installed filtered drinking fountains in common areas across all schools. These fountains are maintained regularly to ensure their effectiveness.

  • Discontinuing Use of Older Fixtures: Following our initial tests, we stopped using older classroom water fixtures for drinking, as they were more likely to have higher lead levels.

  • Regular Flushing of Systems: Our maintenance teams regularly flush the water systems to reduce lead accumulation in water that remains stagnant in pipes.

  • Periodic Re-Testing: We conduct ongoing lead testing to monitor and address any changes or potential risks.


Lead was commonly used in plumbing materials until 1988. As a result, older buildings are more likely to have lead in water. The risk increases when water remains in contact with these materials for extended periods (e.g., overnight, weekends, holidays, summer).

A child’s risk from lead exposure varies based on factors like age, weight, water consumption, and lead concentration in the water. Other significant lead sources include paint, soil, and dust. Blood lead testing, which should be discussed with a physician, is the only definitive way to assess a child’s lead level.

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We are committed to keeping our school community informed. All testing results and safety measures are available below. For more information about our water testing program or sampling results, please contact us.

Locations and Sources Exceeding 5 Parts Per Billion

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has established an “action level” for fixtures with lead concentrations that exceed 15 parts per billion (0.015 milligrams per liter). However, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) requires that schools notify parents of any sample that exceeds 5 ppb. Samples from the following locations and sources exceed 5 ppb: