Senator Steans

January 10, 2017

Dear Friends,


Today the Illinois State Senate approved legislation that I sponsored to require testing water sources in schools and daycares for lead. This is a huge step forward in protecting children from the negative effects of lead exposure.


Lead exposure is a serious issue that can cause developmental delays and learning disabilities. We need to proactively tackle the issue of lead exposure in schools and arm parents with information so that they are not blindsided as many were in Flint, Michigan. That’s exactly what this legislation does.


Senate Bill 550 requires schools and daycares constructed before 2000 that are used by students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade to test drinking water and water used for food preparation for lead. If samples exceed 5 parts per billion of lead, the school district is required to notify parents and legal guardians. To help schools pay for the cost of lead testing and any possible repairs, they will be able to use funds from the Fire Prevention and Safety Fund.


Additionally, water suppliers are required to inventory all materials that they use in their service lines. If there is any maintenance work on water mains or lead services lines, water suppliers must provide notice to affected residents.


It is my hope that parents will be able to rest a little easier knowing that they will now be informed if the water in their children’s schools is contaminated by lead.


This legislation passed both chambers and heads to the governor’s desk for approval. It will take effect immediately once it is signed.


As always, please feel free to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or online with any 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