Small business reacts to IL lead contamination law

Small business reacts to IL lead contamination law

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - The State of Illinois will soon require schools and daycare centers to test their water for lead contamination.

Even though most agree protecting kids at these facilities is a worthwhile cause, many folks at those agencies are upset they'll have to pay for it.

"These laws are going to be passed onto the expense of the small businessman," business owner Lee Eklund said.

Eklund operates Malone's Daycare in Carterville, which is a licensed daycare center, and will therefore be affected by the new law.

The tests are expected to cost anywhere between $500 and $5,000 per building, and the law applies to any building built before the year 2000.

The law will require that each and every drinking fountain, faucet or other source of potable water be tested.

According to the Illinois Attorney General's office, hundreds of schools that have already voluntarily tested were in fact found to have lead-tainted water sources.

Owners of businesses like Malone's Day Care in Carterville fear the test prices will rise with the new law.

In the last year, some Illinois schools that have voluntarily tested drinking water for lead have shown unsafe levels.

Chicago Public Schools found elevated levels of lead in water fountains in more than 113 of the 327 schools tested.

Test results from other school districts, including Glenview and St. Charles, also revealed drinking water sources with elevated lead levels.

"We take security and safety of our children very seriously," Murphysboro Schools Superintendent Chris Grode said in December. "They're things we should be able to provide, and want to provide for our children. But some of them are things that require allocation of manpower, equipment, utilities… and the state assumes we have a way to pay for it.

Many of us just don't."

The bill received bipartisan support in the house and senate and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed it into law on Monday, January 16.

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