Sep 20, 2018

33 Additional Detroit Schools Discover Lead, Copper in Drinking Water

The latest test results revealed 57 out of 86 schools tested have elevated lead and copper levels in drinking water

Detroit schools find additional lead contamination in drinking water
Detroit schools find additional lead contamination in drinking water

On Sept. 19, the Detroit Public Schools Community District released the latest round of water quality test results. The results revealed that out of 86 schools where test results have been completed, 57 have found elevated levels of lead and copper this year, according to MLive. This latest testing reveals 33 more schools than previously known with lead and copper contamination. The district still is awaiting test results of 17 more schools, but the current number represents nearly two-thirds of the district’s 106 school building showing signs of lead or copper contamination in drinking water.

The latest test results come nearly one month after the district made the decision to cut off drinking water at all public school buildings. Instead, students have been drinking from coolers or water bottles, which is costing the district an estimated $100,000 per month, Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti told the Associated Press. In contrast, the district is looking for a long-term solution and considering installing water hydration stations, which would cost an estimated $2 million.

“Moving forward, we will continue to use water coolers district-wide and are actively working through the bid processes to make a recommendation to the board for the use of hydration stations,” administrators said in a statement. “The hydration stations would be installed in all schools by the beginning of (the 2019-2020) school year district-wide and replace the need for water coolers.”

The hydration stations also are being successfully used in some Baltimore City Public Schools, as reported by The Detroit Free Press. The systems filter contaminants and have passed Baltimore City Public Schools tests for lead and copper.

This latest lead and copper contamination in Detroit Public Schools drinking water comes more than four years after the Flint, Mich., water crisis, just northwest of Detroit, and after the state of Michigan recently passed more stringent lead and copper standards.