The drinking water at 57 Detroit schools has tested positive for high levels of lead and copper. This means more than half of the 106 schools in Michigan’s largest school district have water unsafe for consumption. The water quality at another 17 Detroit schools is still undetermined as they wait for test results.
Consuming these metals can lead to impaired cognition, behavioral disorders, hearing problems and delayed puberty for children. The city’s water department has pointed to the schools’ aging plumbing systems as the cause of the contamination.
The Detroit Public Schools Community District shut off drinking water inside all public school buildings after an initial 16 schools showed high levels of copper and/or lead and began distributing bottled water for use in school cafeterias.
“We have not used water to cook food in our kitchens for some time and instead have delivered precooked meals to students,” said Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti. “We plan to install filters for kitchen sinks to remedy challenges in kitchens.”
The issue in Detroit’s schools comes in the wake of a lengthy water crisis involving dangerous lead levels in the water supply in the city of Flint.
The Detroit News, Sept. 19
CNN, Sept. 20