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Local News

School lead test results still pending

JOLIET – Area schools still are waiting to find out whether there is any lead detected in their drinking water.

Joliet Public Schools District 86 and Plainfield School District 202 expected that when tests were performed this spring, the results would be received by late June or early July, but neither district had gotten back their scores as of Thursday.

In January, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a new law requiring schools and day care facilities to test for lead contamination in their water. Buildings more than 30 years old must have their tests completed by Dec. 31, while newer buildings have through next year to perform the tests.

“[How long] depends on the school that can choose to have the tests sent to any lab approved by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency,” said Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The school districts are paying for the tests. After receiving results, they have seven days to report them to the Department of Public Health.

Arnold said Thursday that the agency has just started receiving reports from some schools throughout the state, and it still is setting up a publicly accessible database for the information.

If lead contamination is found, the school likely would shut off water and replace the affected fixtures.

Residential customers typically are told to allow two weeks for lead test results. A message left with Environmental Services Inc., which performed the testing for the Plainfield schools in May, was not immediately returned Thursday.

Joliet Township High School District 204 spokeswoman Kristine Schlismann said Thursday that the district expects results within the next month.

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