Lead can be found in pipes, faucets, and interior plumbing fixtures and materials. Routine water testing is an important and necessary action to ensure the quality of our drinking water.
As part of our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our students and staff, CPS samples water in our schools and facilities. The water testing schedule was developed based on criteria that includes the age of the school, age of the students (with priority given to schools with pre-K programs), presence of a kitchen (where meals are prepared), and presence of pipes that could need repairs or replacement.
In 2016, CPS began the first round of our districtwide water testing program out of an abundance of caution to ensure drinking water in our facilities met all federal, state, and local regulations. CPS collaborated with the Chicago Department of Water Management (CDWM) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to establish testing procedures and protocols that help ensure the quality of potable water in schools.
In addition to meeting state requirements, CPS also took the additional step to test water quality on an ongoing basis, and began a second round of comprehensive testing program starting in Spring 2019 that was to be completed by the end of the 2022 school year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent delay in returning in-person learning, the program was paused in March 2020. CPS water flushing protocols were modified to address issues like stagnant water in unoccupied school buildings during the pandemic. In August 2021, limited water testing was conducted at all scheduled schools. In October 2021, the original water testing program resumed. The District has set a goal to complete the original lead testing at all schools by Fall 2023. The on-going drinking water testing program, with sampling at 25% of schools per year, will continue through Fall 2026.
The District follows the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance to ensure safe drinking water.
Results of lead tests will be routinely posted on this page.