Senator Steans

June 8, 2016

Dear Friends,


Informed by the tragedy in Flint, Michigan, I introduced Senate Bill 550, which would require increased testing for lead in drinking water, especially in schools, and stepped-up efforts to identify and replace lead service lines in water systems. This measure also brings Illinois law into line with federal lead limits and includes new rules to keep the public informed about potential risks in their drinking water. School buildings that serve preschool through fifth-grade students and were built before 1987 must take samples from their drinking water sources and have them tested for lead. If the level of lead in any water sample from a school is 15 parts per billion - the "action level" set in federal law - or higher, parents and guardians must be informed of the level and the associated risks. This legislation passed in the Senate and has been sent to the House for its consideration.


Even though this bill has not yet become law, the Chicago Public Schools has been testing schools' water for sources of lead out of an abundance of caution and to ensure student safety. This document shows the planned schedule for testing. Tests are being conducted in conjunction with the City's Departments of Water and Public Health. If a school was built before 1986 (when code changed to prevent use of lead pipes) and houses any preschool or kindergarten program, CPS has put it on the expedited list of 250 buildings to test before the end of the school year. The remaining CPS schools will be tested over the summer and into the fall. You can visit the CPS lead testing website to see more of this information.


If you are concerned about your child's possible lead exposure risks, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends going to your pediatrician or one of the local health providers in your community. In addition, CDPH's lead hotline can address any health-related question you may have or help you in deciding whether to have your child tested. For questions or more information, please call (312) 747-5323. For additional information about lead and children's health, visit


Also feel free to contact me at (773) 769-1717 or write to me here with any additional questions or concerns.


Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois



District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)


Springfield Office

122 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)



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District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Office: 773-769-1717
Fax: 773-769-6901

Springfield Office
627 Capitol Building
301 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
Office: 217-782-8492