Jun 21, 2019

Detroit, Mich., Schools Purchase Water Filtration Systems

The Detroit school district shut off drinking water in 2018 after excessive levels of lead were found

The Detroit school district shut off drinking water in 2018 after excessive levels of lead were found

Detroit, Mich., school officials announced plans to install new water stations at all 105 school buildings by fall 2019. In August 2018, drinking water was shut off because of excessive levels of lead and copper, according to The Detroit News.

Water stations will use filtration technology to remove the contaminants. According to The Detroit News, stations were installed in 82 of the 105 classroom buildings in the district. Other schools in the district are set to have stations by the end of June.

The district will spend approximately $2.7 million to purchase the hydration stations before the next school year in September. According to The Detroit News, funding mainly came from businesses and the philanthropic community.

"We can only hope that our proactive approach to ensuring clean water for students will be shared by other schools in Detroit and throughout the country," said Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). "It is only logical that they too have individual water sources with elevated levels of cooper and/or lead and have not tested."

Vitti turned off drinking water inside all school buildings after 16 schools showed high levels of copper and/or lead days before the first day of school in September 2018. According to The Detroit News, one school had more than 54 times the legal limits of lead and another exceeded the copper level.

Machion Jackson is the assistant superintendent of operations at DPSCD. She said each station filters water according to U.S. EPA guidelines, and filters other contaminants as well.

"We like that not only it is environmentally friendly but it encourages students to drink more water as opposed to sugary drinks," Jackson said to The Detroit News.

The district plans to purchase water bottles for all of DPSCD’s 50,000 students and will be available this fall. According to The Detroit News, the water is tested before student use.