Detroit schools superintendent to propose $3 million plan to fix drinking water
Plan is to install water hydration stations in every school
DETROIT – Students at every single Detroit Public Schools Community District school have been using water stations or bringing their own water to stay hydrated since the school year began.
Over the summer, test results showed high levels of lead and copper in the water at some of the schools. The district decided to shut off every drinking fountain as a precaution.
On Tuesday, the district may take a step toward fixing this problem. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti will propose a $3 million plan to install water hydration stations in every school that will filter the water, completely eliminating lead and copper.
Vitti will make his proposal during a board meeting at noon.
"We'll purchase additional filters, supply them at the school. There's a meter on the station that indicates how many gallons have been consumed. That will be monitored by the principal/assistant principal, an engineer at the school," said Vitti.
Original plan 'not a viable option'
The original plan was to find a temporary fix and then replace all of the pipes. The district determined that was far too expensive and disruptive.
"The type of destruction it would take, and the need to move students from one building to the other, that's just not a viable option. I mean, we'd have to tear walls down, floors would have to be gutted, and that's just not practical.
We're working on some things that you're gonna be excited to hear about. I'd rather Dr. Vitti talk about that, and he will, but we're gonna do what we need to do to make sure that our kids in Detroit get what they need. That's water, curriculum, and everything else," said school board member Deborah Hunter-Harvill.
Vitti also is expected to announce philanthropic support to help offset the cost of this fix. That announcement is not expected until next week's board meeting.
The school board wants this work to be completed by the summer.
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