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Lead in Water Testing at Schools and Child Care Facilities

Children spend a lot of time in day care and at school. To ensure safe and healthy water at these facilities, Illinois has requirements for schools and child care facilities constructed before 2000 to test for lead in drinking water.


Improving Water Quality in Schools

Illinois school buildings occupied by more than 10 children or students, pre-kindergarten through grade 5, constructed on or before January 1, 2000 were required to test all sources of potable water for lead and submit results to IDPH by the end of 2018. Schools were also required to directly communicate with parents and legal guardians if any results were over 5 parts per billions.

In review of testing results submitted to IDPH, most schools detected lead in at least one source of drinking water. In recognition of these results and federal requirements took effect to lower the allowable concentration of lead in plumbing materials (“lead free”), IDPH recommends lead in water testing at schools constructed before January 2014.

Child Care

DCFS Sunshine

DCFS licensing standards require all licensed day care homes, day care centers, and group day care homes serving children under six years of age and built on or before January 1, 2000 to test their sources of drinking and cooking water for lead and take action when lead is detected over 2.00 parts per billion.

LeadCare Illinois

LeadCare Illinois provides free lead in water training, testing, and support for child care facilities in Illinois. The program helps child care providers address lead in drinking water and comply with lead in water testing requirements.

Further Guidance for Lead in Water Testing and Reduction in Schools and Child Care Facilities

USEPA 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities

The USEPA 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities is a guidance document that helps these facilities take actions to identify and reduce lead in drinking water. This approach is focused on: training, testing, and taking action.

Need more help? Contact IDPH’s Plumbing and Water Quality Program at


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