While great steps have been taken during the past two decades to reduce the levels of lead in water, lead may still get into water from older metal faucets, taps, or pipes. To protect Illinois children from possible exposure to lead in drinking water, Governor Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly passed Public Act 99-0922 requiring schools and daycares to sample for lead contamination in water.
The Act requires the oldest school buildings, those built before January 1, 1987, to complete water testing by the end of 2017. Schools built between January 2, 1987 and January 1, 2000 must complete testing by the end of 2018. The Act requires parents and guardians of students be notified of lead results greater than or equal to five parts per billion (ppb).
Daycares built on or before January 1, 2000 that serve children younger than 6 years old will also be required to conduct testing once rules are developed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and Illinois Department of Public Health.
In the private water and closed loop systems program, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) administers the licensing of water well and pump installation contractors and regulates the construction, modification and sealing of all water wells, with the exception of community water wells. In addition, the program administers the registration of closed loop well contractors and regulates the construction, modification, and sealing of all closed loop wells. This program is conducted through agreements with 90 local health departments.
A major consideration in constructing these wells is to prevent contamination from the ground surface or shallow ground water, sewage disposal systems and other hazardous sources, from entering the well. To ensure the safety of these water supplies, the IDPH and local health departments review water well installation plans, issue permits for new well construction, and inspect wells. The IDPH licenses approximately 730 people who construct wells and/or install water well pumps. Staff consult with the public and local governments about private water supply issues and prepares publications concerning the use of surface water and groundwater supplies.
Environmental Health Factsheets
- A Safe Water Supply Depends on Location and Construction - Bored Wells
- A Safe Water Supply Depends on Location and Construction - Drilled Wells
- A Safe Water Supply Depends on Location and Construction - Driven Wells
- Abandoned Wells - Hazards to Health and Safety
- Alachlor and Atrazine in Groundwater
- Arsenic in Groundwater
- Commonly Found Substances in Drinking Water and Available Treatment (PDF)
- Emergency Hauling Storing and Disinfecting of Water Supplies
- Iron in Drinking Water
- Nitrates in Drinking Water
- Radium in Drinking Water
- Vinyl Chloride in Groundwater
- Well Sampling for Coliform and Nitrate