What is lead?
Lead is a naturally occurring element in our environment. It can be found in the air, soil, water, and inside buildings.
How much lead is acceptable in water?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s action level for lead in public drinking water is 15 parts per billion (ppb); but, this new Illinois state law sets a stricter action level of 5 ppb. The impact of lead varies, depending on several factors, including age (children under age 6 are generally more at risk) and the amount of consumption.
Why did the Park District conduct this testing?
The Park District sampled the water in the Alcott Center because of a new Illinois law that went into effect in May 2017. The law requires educational institutions with pre-k to 5th grade classes in Illinois to test levels of lead in the water at school buildings by the end of 2017, beginning with buildings that were built prior to January 1, 1987. The potential for lead contamination in the water supply is greater in buildings built before 1987, prior to the 1986 reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
What does the testing of water samples consist of?
In order to test water for lead, the law requires 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 actions did the Park District take?
The Park District remediation actions are following the Illinois Department of Public Health Guidelines. In addition to shutting off classroom sinks once results were received, the Park District replaced fixtures and posted signs that read “Hand washing only, not for drinking water.” In addition, the Park District has one filtered water bottle filling station that was installed in 2014 which tested 0 ppb.
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.
Buffalo Grove Park District Lead Testing Results
|Sample||Fixture Location||Results (PPB)||Course of Action|
|Room A||Sink 2||57.7||Shut Down|
|Room B||Sink 2||18||Sign/Hand Wash Only|
|Room B||Sink 1||5.32||Sign/Hand Wash Only|
|Room G||Sink||10.5||Sign/Hand Wash Only|
|Room H||Sink||9.51||Sign/Hand Wash Only|
*Any classroom not included in this attachment was reported to have 0 - 5 ppb.
Map Indicating Effected Sinks