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updated: 1/10/2017 11:07 PM

Lead in our schools' water: Our report that preceded legislation

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  • Special education teaching assistant Allison Groessl takes a drink from a new water fountain at Maine South High School in Park Ridge last fall. It replaced an older fountain that leached lead into the drinking water.

      Special education teaching assistant Allison Groessl takes a drink from a new water fountain at Maine South High School in Park Ridge last fall. It replaced an older fountain that leached lead into the drinking water.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

Our continuing series on suburban water quality contributed to real legislation.

A bill that requires testing of drinking water in all Illinois schools for lead contamination was approved unanimously Tuesday by the Illinois Senate. The bill is expected to be signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, whose administration worked with schools, testing advocates and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office to remedy concerns over costs and responsibility for testing.

The Daily Herald reported last month on the level of testing suburban school districts had applied to their water supplies. Some tests showed lead levels well above the federal safety threshold, in one case more than 212 times that threshold. More than 75 percent of the schools tested in compliance, while some schools were not tested at all.

Read more about those tests, which was part of our ongoing series on the safety of the suburban water supply. You can start reading that series at http://bit.ly/HowSafeIsOurWater. Among the reports:

• Do you have lead in your drinking water?

• How one suburb solved its lead problem.

• Recent water violations in 33% of analyzed suburbs.

• How to test your water to make sure it's safe.

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