February 13, 2017
Over the past few months, the Harlem School District has worked with the North Park Water District to test elementary schools for the levels of lead in drinking fountains, sinks and other water sources. We initially tested several water sources from each elementary school in an effort to be proactive in this matter. The Environmental Protection Agency states that water that is 15 parts per billion or higher requires action. We are responding by immediately shutting off any fixtures that test at or above that threshold. These water fixtures were repaired or replaced and will be tested again before being available for use.
On January 16th, after we conducted our initial testing, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill (SB550) that requires all elementary schools and daycare centers to have all water sources used for drinking and cooking tested for lead. The new law requires school districts to notify parents of any water source that tests at 5 parts per billion or above.
Our next steps, following today’s notification to parents, will be to re-test all sources tested in our preliminary testing phase in addition to all remaining water sources used for drinking and cooking at the elementary schools. Once we receive the results from these tests, we will again notify parents of the results and our action plan pertaining to their student’s school. Once elementary schools are completed per the law, we will complete the same process for our secondary schools.
For more information, please contact:
Harlem School District
Chief Executive Officer
North Park Water District