School Water Quality

Panther Families,

Last week, the LeRoy City Council held a public meeting about city water quality.  We have recently received a couple of questions regarding the school district’s water quality, so I want to share the school district’s effort to address the quality of our water.  

There are really two things to look at in terms of our water.  One, what is coming to us from the source?  Two, what are we doing with the water before it is delivered?  We have the same water source as our homeowners.  When water comes to us, drinking water is run through a filtration system before it is delivered through our fountain bottle fillers.  Our filters are recommended to be changed and are changed at least every 6 months.  The McLean County Health Department and Illinois State Board of Education hold us to high standards for cooking and food delivery.  All of our restrooms are equipped with hot water and soap.  In addition to our filtered bottle fillers, we also now allow students to bring their own drinking water from home.

In 2016, we tested our water for lead for a variety of reasons.  At the time, there was a large concern about water quality in Flint, Michigan, which pushed water quality to the forefront of the news.  That also led to a conversation in Illinois about legislation to require lead testing in schools.  As a district, we decided to get ahead of that mandate and test our water.  At the time, we were not filtering our water or allowing home water bottles as we are now.  While our results were good, we were given recommendations to help improve water quality in general and to mitigate potential future concerns.  We implemented those recommendations, which were primarily related to filtering the water that comes to us with the focus on drinking water.   

The complete results of our lead testing are attached and have been posted on our website since 2016.  All three of our buildings were tested by IDEAL Environmental Engineering who took multiple samples including service connections, service main lines, kitchens, and water fountains.  Of the 24 tested locations, there was one area with trace amounts of lead below the EPA action level amount, which was at the service connection line that is now filtered before it gets to our bottle fillers.  Since 2016, we have added filtered bottle fillers to water fountains throughout our buildings.  

Based on the recommendations from IDEAL, standards set by MCHD and ISBE, implementation of filters, and allowing students to bring their own bottles from home, as a district we believe we are controlling the factors we can control with water after it is delivered to our buildings.

Jeff Baughman