Testing Drinking Water for Lead in Schools and Daycare Facilities

Illinois elementary schools and day care centers are required to test drinking water sources for lead under legislation the Governor of Illinois signed January 16th 2017. School buildings constructed before 1987 must complete testing by the end of 2017. Those built afterward have until the end of 2018. Day care centers constructed before 2000, that serve children under 6 years of age, will also have to test.   A copy of Public Act 099-0922 is available to download here. Much of the 39 page document discusses funding. Pages 14 - 20 focus primarily on the logistics of the requirement (who, what, when, etc.).

This web-page is designed primarily to help those with budget constraints.   Some schools and day care facilities can afford to hire environmental consultants to help them through the process. Unfortunately many others cannot.  The good news is, provided they have the right information, schools and daycare facilities can perform the sampling themselves. Throughout this page you will find guidance covering frequently asked questions, What to do Next, a step by step guide  to help you through the process, information on developing your facility's specific sampling plan  and information on how to obtain sampling kits.  

First, here are a few paragraphs on Teklab and some driving forces behind this law:

Teklab, Inc. was founded in 1982 as an environmental testing laboratory. We have 63 employees with a total of around 775 years of experience at Teklab. Of those, 38 have been with us more than five years. We are a trusted environmental laboratory with a wealth of environmental testing knowledge. From August 2016 to January 2017 Teklab, Inc. tested over 10,000 drinking water samples from local schools. We can help you through the process.

Even though the drinking water received from water suppliers meets federal and state standards for lead, a facility may have elevated lead levels due to plumbing materials and water use patterns. Because lead concentrations can change as water moves through the distribution system, the best way to know if a school might have elevated levels of lead in its drinking water is by testing the water in that school. Most water fountains and cafeterias meet the regulatory requirements, however some do not. In those instances quick identification of lead in drinking water allows a school or daycare facility to quickly address the issue. Often times the solution is as simple as replacing a water fountain or sink.

Monitoring your school or daycare facility and meeting the requirements of this law is possible; if you are well informed.

drop of water Here is some additional information to help you:

Any laboratory testing for the presence of lead in drinking water must be accredited. In Illinois they must be accredited by the Illinois EPA. Teklab is IEPA accredited for a wide variety of parameters including drinking water lead. Click here to see a list of our NELAP accredited methods.

Teklab's experienced Project Management team is always available to discuss your specific needs and to provide a quote for our services if needed. Give our Director of Customer Service, Liz Hurley, a call at 877-344-1003 Ext 33, email at gettheleadout@teklabinc.com to find out how we can help.

If you need further help understanding your requirements, the EPA document 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools is a great reference tool.  The For schools with budgetary constraints, page 28 (Section 4) provides an easy to understand explanation of how to collect samples yourself. Please note, however, the "3Ts" document is slightly different from the Illinois law. The law requires a 'second draw' after 30 seconds. The "3Ts" document does not reference the second draw. If you have any problems viewing and/or downloading the manual, please give us a call and we will email you a copy. Also the following EPA Drinking Water Webpage provides easy to follow guidance on the new requirements.

Tribune news services. (2017, January 16th). "Gov. Rauner signs school, day care lead-testing law." Chicago Times. Retrieved from http://www.chicagotribune.com/

"3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools. Revised Technical Guidance." United State Environmental Protection Agency: Office of Water. EPA 816-B-05-008 (2006)

Helpful Links:
AWWA - sampling drinking water guidance
Schools - IDPH lead in drinking water testing waiver
IDPH Lead in Water web page
IDPH Mitigation Strategies

Teklab Locations

Collinsville, IL
Downers Grove, IL
Springfield, IL
Kansas City, KS

Need a Quote or would like to
find out more information?
Call or email Liz Hurley at:

gettheleadout@teklabinc.com

Toll free: 877 344 1003 EXT 33

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