Water Management Plan

New Guidance
Pursuant to the Illinois Plumbing Licensing Law (225 ICLS 320/35.5), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is required to provide guidance to schools concerning mitigation of hazards discovered by testing for lead in water.    

While Section 35.5 does not specifically require mitigation, IDPH is requiring the mitigation strategies and requirements contained in this guidance document to be followed for all plumbing fixtures identified with any level of lead. Mitigation should continue until subsequent testing indicates no lead is present in water.

Mitigation strategies depend on many variables and schools may need to implement various and 
multiple steps to mitigate lead‐in‐water hazards.    This guidance provides the most common mitigations strategies, but is not intended to be all inclusive.

WQMP Water Quality Management Plan - Steps to an Effective Water Quality Management Plan
Regardless of lead or any other potential plumbing issues, developing an effective Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) is essential to ensuring that safe, potable drinking water is maintained at all times.

In many cases, the internal plumbing system in schools and other large facilities is extensive, often containing hundreds, if not thousands of feet of pipe. If left unused for extended periods of time (2-3 days), the water in this pipe can become stagnant and develop internal water quality issues such as high lead concentrations and harmful bacterial growth.

An effective WQMP can help mitigate the potential for these negative water quality issues.

Step 1: Develop a Water Testing Schedule
Sunnybrook SD171 will test its water pursuant to the guidelines established by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Step 2: Select Your Team
Water Suppliers, Water Testing Vendor, Chief School Business Official, Superintendent, and Custodial Staff. These individuals will be key to implementing the WQMP.

Step 3: Understand Your Facility Layout and Facility Schedule
  • Obtain building plans
  • Identify where drinking fountains and food service water fixtures are located.
  • Know the schedule of the facility and its usage.
Step 4: Develop Plan
The principal goal will be to flush an adequate amount of water through our plumbing system in order to maintain fresh (safe) drinking water at all times, in all areas of our facilities.
Flushing is the easiest method whereby fresh water may be delivered from the water main. Because lead concentrations increase the longer the water is in contact with pipes or plumbing fixtures containing lead, reducing the water age (how long water sits in the pipe) will reduce the levels of lead in water.

Note: IDPH suggests the following program guide‐ lines be considered as minimum steps:
1. Locate the fixtures farthest from the entry point of the water service to the building and flush them for 10 minutes each morning.  
2. Open all fixtures used for cooking and drinking and run until you feel the water temperature get colder.
(Additional information on flushing and other remedies is available in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools Technical Guidance.)  

Step 5: Implement Your Plan
  • Remove the problem fixture(s) from service immediately upon learning that a fixture has tested positive for lead, it will be removed from service.
  • Permanent removal of fixtures and branch plumbing will be undertaken with the advice of a professional engineer or licensed plumber.
  • Once the fixture has been addressed, validation testing is required and will be conducted in the same manner in which the initial testing was performed.