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BESD#53 completes state mandated lead testing at schools
BESD#53 completes state mandated lead testing at schools
Dan Hollowell

December 20, 2017

Dear BESD#53 Families:

BESD#53 is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.  Part of ensuring a healthy learning environment is making sure our water sources are clean and safe for our district.  In January 2017, Public Act 099-0922 was passed, requiring that by December 2017, Illinois school districts complete water testing in all District sites of preK-5th grade built before Jan. 1, 2000.  

During the month of October 2017, this testing was completed at Noel LeVasseur, Alan B. Shepard, and Shabbona Schools by Midwest Environmental Consulting Services, Inc.  Ninety two total locations were tested.  

Lead in drinking water is commonly associated with corrosion of plumbing systems or erosion of natural deposits.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) sets an action level for lead in water at 15 parts per billion (ppb), however, the Illinois law establishes more stringent reporting guidelines, requiring districts to notify parents if lead is found in water when levels are at or above 5 ppb.  The EPA considers 15 ppb as the primary drinking source (babies on formula, small children drinking tap water as their regular source of water) of children 10 years of age or younger to be the maximum safe amount.  

According to the law, parents need to be notified of any drinking fountains, hand washing sinks (pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms), and food preparations faucets that were recorded over the required levels of 5 ppb.  

In BESD#53, bathroom and classroom sinks are not drinking sources and have all been labeled with “Hand Washing Only” signs.  All drinking fountains and food prep sinks testing above the EPA guidelines have been shut off and are being replaced.  Re-testing will occur after the new sinks and fountains are in place.  

Our presentation to the board of education, and Midwest’s full report is available on our website at www.besd53.org, under MENU > Documents > For Families > Lead Testing.

If you have any other questions, please contact Director of Business Dennis Crawford at (815) 929-5100 or crawfordd@besd53.org.