February 21, 2018
Dear Walker Families,
As you know, testing was completed last November for lead contamination in water in all D65 elementary and magnet schools according to recent Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) regulations. Results were shared in early December.
Using mitigation strategies recommended by IDPH, including regular flushing and replacement of some pipes and fittings, water sources were re-tested by Stantec, an environmental testing firm, on January 13, 2018. Testing guidelines require that a water sample is tested after being out of use for at least eight hours (first draw) and that a second sample is tested after the water has run for at least 30 seconds (flush draw). While we were able to fix the problem at a number of sources, the re-testing confirms that one remains above the IDPH recommended level (5 parts per billion) on either draw.
- Room 101 (Simmons), Classroom Sink, 14.5ppb (first draw) / 0.8ppb (flush draw)
The water source above the recommended level has signage posted that it is not to be used and this signage will remain in place. Our staff has been asked to monitor and students have been instructed to refrain from using this sink. Environmental experts recommend that the water source remain on; turning it off for an extended period of time will only cause further water quality issues. However, this sink will remain out-of-use until it meets IDPH guidelines. All drinking fountains and bottle fillers are within the recommended level and are safe for consumption.
Given that initial mitigation strategies did not work in all cases, we will develop a comprehensive plan that identifies a range of solutions to resolve outstanding issues by March 16, 2018.
District 65 will continue to work with IDPH, the City of Evanston Public Works Department, and the Evanston Health and Human Services Department to protect the environmental health and safety of our students and staff. Updates will be provided as available. Thank you for understanding.
Ginger Lumpkin, Principal
Paul Goren, Superintendent of Schools