Greenwood Elementary School’s well water again has shown high levels of arsenic, according to a notice sent to Woodstock School District 200 families Monday.
The most recent test of the school water showed arsenic levels at
17 parts per billion. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set the acceptable standard for arsenic at 10 parts per billion, according to the notice.
“Drinking fountains will be turned off. Bottled water stations have been in place at Greenwood since December and will be the sole source of drinking water on-site,” District 200 Superintendent Mike Moan said in a statement. “Well water will not be used for food preparation.”
Two tests of the school water in November also showed elevated arsenic levels of 32 parts per billion and 18 parts per billion.
The district took similar action after a Dec. 5 announcement about the situation and continued to test the water. A December test showed lowered arsenic levels.
“Since the water issue arose ... we took a more aggressive approach to well testing and will continue to monitor the well at frequent intervals,” Moan said. “Water will not be turned on again until we have multiple tests showing that the water is consistently below the recommended level for arsenic contamination.”
Arsenic occurs naturally in mineral deposits in some areas of Illinois. Groundwater that flows through those deposits can dissolve the arsenic and increase the amount of the toxin in a well, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Effects of arsenic exposure depend on the amount of arsenic a person has been exposed to and for how long, according to the department.
Greenwood Elementary, 4618 Greenwood Road, serves students in preschool through fifth grade. It has an enrollment of about 300 students, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.
Greenwood is the only school in the district on a well.