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Local News

Plainfield D-202 testing all schools for lead as proactive measure

PLAINFIELD – Plainfield District 202 is testing water in all schools as a proactive step given the law does not address schools built after 2000, the district’s spokesman said.

State law requires testing of schools serving preschool through fifth grade students that were built before Jan. 1, 1987, by the end of the year. 

Schools serving the same students that were built between Jan. 2, 1987, and Jan. 1, 2000, are supposed to have testing done by the end of 2018. 

District officials announced Tuesday that they will test all buildings, including all four high schools and Plainfield Academy.

“We would rather take care of it all now and just be done with it,” said Tom Hernandez, District 202 spokesman.

He said what influenced the district’s decision to test all schools is that many of them were built after 2000 and the law does not address testing those schools. 

State lawmakers also have the option to change the law until June 30, 2019. Hernandez said that testing all schools would be “forward thinking” if the law applies to middle and high schools.

The district will pay about $65,000 to Environmental Services to test water at about 1,900 drinking fountains and commercial sinks in district schools and other facilities. 

Hernandez stated in an email that the district Finance Committee heard water testing information at a March 15 meeting and asked the business department to research additional information, such as the cost for testing. 

After that information was shared, the board didn’t have additional questions or concerns. 

Hernandez stated formal board approval was not needed as the cost of the work falls below the bid threshold as it’s being done building by building. 

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