Students in Detroit are starting the year off on the wrong side of the pipe.
Contamination concerns with lead and copper have plagued the start of the school year in Detroit, Michigan. Students and staff are drinking only bottled water until the issue is resolved.
Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai P. Vitti sent a letter to staff to announce that he was ordering drinking fountains at all 106 district campuses turned off after tests found 16 schools with "higher than acceptable" levels of copper or lead in their tap water.rnIvy Bailey, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, says she's happy the district has been proactive about the problem.
"I have to give them kudos for being transparent," she said. "The timeline is awful, but let's just deal with it. I hope that we move quickly to get these water fountains repaired."
According to a statement from Vitti, 10 schools were already using a filtration system as a result of water quality issues. Eight additional campuses had ongoing issues since 2016, bringing the total number of campuses verified to have water quality problems to 34, Vitti said.rn
"Although we have no evidence that there are elevated levels of copper or lead in our other schools (over 50) where we are awaiting test results, out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of our students and employees, I am turning off all drinking water in our schools until a deeper and broader analysis can be conducted to determine the long-term solutions for all schools," Vitti said.
This could be the result of having older plumbing near the parts where the water comes out of fountains and drinking ends. Urban public schools are often in old buildings, run down, and lack proper maintenance. Hopefully they get this fixed soon.