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Local News

Joliet, Plainfield schools to get lead results in coming weeks

Joliet Grade School District 86 has completed testing for lead in water and is waiting for results.

Plainfield School District 202, meanwhile, hopes to be able to post results by July as it nears completion of its own testing.

In January, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a new law requiring schools and day care facilities to test for lead contamination of potable water in their buildings.

The law was initiated by the Illinois Environmental Council and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, according to her office. Some schools and day cares throughout Will County have by the end of this year to test for lead in drinking water in accordance with state law.

School buildings constructed before Jan. 1, 1987, must have water testing finished by the end of the year, according to the law.

The deadline for those constructed between Jan. 2, 1987, and Jan. 1, 2000, is the end of 2018. Samples must be submitted to a laboratory accredited by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

All schools at District 86 have been tested as of May 27, said Paul DuFresne, the district’s facilities director, at Wednesday’s board meeting. Now district officials are waiting for lab results to come in. 

DuFresne said as soon as the district receives the results, they will find out if water fixtures in any of the schools may have been affected by lead contamination and set up a plan to address it. 

“If anything comes back positive, we will shut the fixture down until we either get it replaced or whatever process we deem necessary for that,” he said. 

District 202 Spokesman Tom Hernandez said in an email that the testing at the district isn’t complete yet and that the results will be publicly shared and posted on the district’s website in either late June or early July. 

Testing was to be done between May 2 and 9, with the results publicly reported by the end of May or posted on the district’s website in June, according to a District 202 news release. 

The decision was made to test the water in all schools within District 202 to include newer buildings, district officials have said. The law does not address schools built after 2000, and many of the district’s schools were built since then.

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