Starting on October 24th, 2017, and in compliance with Public Act 099-0922, all Morton District 709 facilities built prior to January 1, 2000, where pre-K through fifth grade students are present, were tested for lead in the water. The testing was performed by Ideal Environmental Engineering, Inc. As required by the act, the results of the testing were shared with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The level requiring action, recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency, for school outlets is 20 parts per billion (ppb). However, the IDPH mitigation requirements are significantly more stringent. IDPH has set a minimum laboratory detection limit at 2 ppb.
As required by the act, results were posted on the district website (www.Morton709.org) for public viewing. In addition, any building with a level greater than 5 ppb, parents were notified individually in writing, which is also required under the act.
Morton District 709 administration and maintenance staff have been in contact with both IDPH and IDEAL Environmental Engineering. Based on recommendations provided by both, mitigation and water management efforts have been implemented. Many of the identified areas were sinks not used for food preparation or drinking. No drinking fountains were affected. Any sinks identified over 2 ppb are now being used for handwashing only. All affected areas have been mitigated and will be retested.
- Kitchen faucets have been replaced
- 8 drinking fountains replaced with new fountains that are filtered
- Aerators removed
- Systems flushed
- Retesting will be completed January 30th
- Testing/Retesting costs- $19,400
- Faucet/Fountain costs- Roughly $15,000 (including labor)
Morton District 709 remains committed to protecting student health and will continue to take all actions necessary.