Lead Testing Done At PLT #3

00:00 AM December 26, 2017


In January of this year a new Illinois law went into effect which requires testing of water for lead at elementary schools that house kindergarten through fifth grades. The PLT #3 school district did testing involving the Prophetstown and Tampico Elementary schools during October.


Samples were collected from water sources that could be used for drinking or cooking in each building. Bathroom and utility sinks did not need to be sampled. The samples were collected by Ideal Environmental Engineering following a strict protocol to ensure the quality of each sample. Testing of the water was done by Prairie Analytical Systems.


For testing to be done no water could be used from the system for at least eight hours prior to testing. Two samples from each source were drawn. After an initial sample was taken from a source the water was run (a flush) for 30 seconds before a second sample was taken.



According to state law any samples that exceed 2 ppb require mitigation. At Prophetstown Elementary 23 Sources were tested, many with multiple faucets. 19 faucets were found to have a level between 2.01 and 4.66 ppb. 8 faucets were found to have a level between 5.08 and 15 ppb. Three other faucets had levels of 18.0, 18.8, and 75.6. The three highest results were from faucets that are rarely if ever used according to Superintendent Chad Colmone. At Tampico Elementary 26 sources were tested with only one exceeding 2 ppb with a reading of 2.4 ppb.


Colmone said the district took appropriate steps to ensure the welfare of the students. Most fixtures with issues were not used by students on a regular basis. Mitigation included shutting off water to some fixtures, which may be replaced in the future. Another step included posting signs asking users to run the water for 30 seconds before using it.

Signs were placed at some faucets at PES as
part of the lead mitigation process.


By state law, if any of the sample results exceed 5 ppb (parts per billion), schools must notify parents in writing or electronically, and include: The location and source exceeding 5 ppb, and the US EPA website for information about lead in drinking water. The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) set a minimum detection limit of 2 ppb, a mitigation requirement 10 times more stringent than the 20 ppb action threshold recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for school outlets.


The district did notify parents in writing. and the results can be found on the PLT #3 Website  under the tab, “Our District” and then clicking on “Water Lead Testing.”


The city of Prophetstown also does testing for both lead and copper in its system. The most recent tests were done this past September. Public Works Director, Brian Strike, said multiple locations in various parts of the city are selected by the company that does the testing. He said that all samples tested were well below the 15 ppb level set by the EPA for remediation. He added that most samples were below 2.0 ppb.


For additional information-  http://www.epa.illinois.gov/citizens/citizens-information/in-your-home/resources-on-lead/index

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