The following message is posted on the District 65’s website: 

As you may know, legislation was passed in Illinois earlier this year that requires preK-5th grade schools and daycares built earlier than 2000 to conduct testing for lead contamination in water. As of December 11, District 65 has received the results from testing completed at all K-5 and magnet schools. While not required, testing will be conducted in middle schools after winter break. 

Testing was completed in November by Stantec, a certified environmental testing firm. The sampling was completed in compliance with new regulations set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Public Act 99-0922. Letters with the school-level results and next steps were sent to K-5 and magnet school staff and families in early December. Detailed reports are posted on each school’s website. 

Any fixtures that showed lead levels in excess of the recommended level (5 parts per billion) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were shut down and will remain off until the issue is addressed and the water is retested. District 65 and the Evanston Health and Human Services (HHS) Department are working collaboratively on this matter. As required by public law, District 65 will notify IDPH of the results. District 65 is currently implementing mitigation strategies as recommended by IDPH and Evanston HHS. These strategies include the identification, replacement, and installation of new filters, fixtures, and identified pipes. Upon completion, further testing will be conducted to ensure compliance with state guidelines. Several resources have been listed below that are related to lead, health effects, and mitigation. 

The environmental health and safety of our students and staff is of the greatest importance to us. The district will continue to be responsive towards any concerns regarding environmental health and will continue to comply with all state and federal laws regarding lead testing. District 65 will host an information session for staff and families in conjunction with the Evanston Health Department on December 20 at 6:30pm at the JEH Education Center (1500 McDaniel Ave, Evanston). Please note that the December 13th session has been cancelled. 

As an example, the following message is posted on the Kingsley Elementary School Website. Messages are posted on school’s websites. 

Lead Testing and Results

On Monday afternoon, December 4, the district received the results of the lead testing in all water sources.

  • A total of 68 samples were collected from 34 water fixtures at Kingsley Elementary.
  • This sampling was completed in compliance with new regulations set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Public Act 99-0922.
  • Two samples showed lead levels in excess of the recommended level (5 parts per billion) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
    • Classroom Sink, Room 106 (Ms. Davis), 6.3ppb
    • Classroom Sink, Room 202 (Ms. Warren), 40.9ppb
  • All drinking fountains were tested and were within the recommended level.

Action Taken Based on Results

Before students and staff came to school on Tuesday morning, December 5, water sources to these sinks were shut down. District 65 and the Evanston Health and Human Services (HHS) Department are working collaboratively on this matter. As required by public law, District 65 will notify IDPH of the results. Our district is currently implementing mitigation strategies as recommended by IDPH and Evanston HHS. These strategies include the identification, replacement, and installation of new filters, fixtures, and identified pipes. Upon completion, further testing will be conducted to ensure compliance with state guidelines. Several resources have been included at the close of this letter related to lead, health effects, and mitigation. 

The environmental health and safety of our students and staff is of the greatest importance to us. We will continue to be responsive towards any concerns regarding environmental health and will continue to comply with all state and federal laws regarding lead testing. For those who may be interested, we will host an information session for staff and families in conjunction with the Evanston Health Department CANCELLED on December 13 at 6:30pm at King Arts (2424 Lake Street, Evanston). We are available to answer any questions that you may have; please do not hesitate to contact any one of us.

Sincerely,

Tricia Murray, Kingsley Principal

Paul Goren, Superintendent of Schools

Evonda Thomas-Smith Director, Evanston Health and Human Services

Resources

City of Evanston Public Works Department (Lead in Water)

https://www.cityofevanston.org/government/departments/public-works/public-outreach/evanston-water-sewer-service/lead-in-drinking-water

School Fact Sheet (American Water Works Association)

https://www.district65.net/cms/lib/IL01906289/Centricity/Domain/4/School_fact_sheet1.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website (Lead in Water)

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm

EPA Basic Information about Lead in Drinking Water

https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water

Information about IDPH Public Act 99-0922

http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/environmental-health-protection/lead-in-water