Why did the District conduct this testing?
The District started sampling water in July 2017 as a result of an Illinois law which requires schools district to complete water testing in buildings built before Jan. 1, 1987.
What does the testing of water samples consist of?
Professional Services Industrcies, Inc. and District staff were required by law, at minimum, to collect a first-draw 250 milliliter sample of water, let the water flow or flush for 30 seconds, and collect a second-draw 250mL sample from each source.
What is lead?
Lead is a naturally occurring element in our environment. It can be found in the air, soil, the water, and inside buildings.
How much lead is acceptable in water?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency set an action level for lead in public drinking water or sinks at 15 ppb and greater but does not establish related health standards. The impact of lead varies, depending on several factors, including age (children under age six are generally more at risk) and the amount of consumption. Kankakee School District 111 classroom water fountains or bubblers that exceed the state’s 5 ppb threshold will be shut off on or before September 14, 2017.
What other actions might the District take?
Kankakee School District 111 remediation actions will follow the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines. In addition to shutting off classroom fountains, the District will replace fixtures and post signs near sinks that read “Hand Washing Only”.
Is washing hands or showering in lead-contaminated water a risk?
According to the United States EPA, washing hands or showering should be safe for children and adults, even if water contains more than 15 ppb. Human skin does not absorb lead in water.
Why is Kankakee School District 111 releasing water testing results?
By law, school districts in Illinois have until the end of December to test the water in sites built prior to 1987 but Kankakee School District decided to move forward with testing in late July and recieved results in early September. The results have been reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health as required and we promptly worked to analyze results, determine action steps and share test results with parents. We will continue to keep our families updated as any new information becomes available.
Will any steps be taken to mitigate or update plumbing; or will Kankakee School District 111 only be shutting down or repairing at locations with high findings of lead?
- All in-classroom drinking fountains in all buildings that tested above IDPH guidelines, will be shut off by September 14, 2017.
- Drinking fountains outside classrooms that tested above IDPH guidelines will be shut off by September 15, 2017. Then will be replaced or repaired as soon as supplies and equipment is available. On a temporary basis, commercial bottled water stations will be available at each of the drinking fountains that have been shut off outside of classrooms until repairs or replacements have been completed.
- All sinks in bathrooms, nurses’ offices, kitchenettes, cafeterias, labs, and any other locations will be labeled with a bilingual sign reading “Hand Washing Only,’’ upon the start of the school year.
Additional mitigation measures, including plumbing updates, will be evaluated at each individual building after the initial mitigation strategies are implemented and further testing is completed.
Will filters be added to drinking fountains or sinks?
At this time, Kankakee School District 111 is repairing and replacing drinking fountains as necessary. Upon additional testing, further mitigation strategies, including filters, will be considered.
When will the next series of testing occur?
Follow up testing will occur soon after drinking fountains are repaired or replaced.
Where can I get more info on where the sites that were tested are located within my child’s schools?
We listed all the sources that came back with results above 5ppb. The results can be found under the Water Testing Results page.