Flint, Michigan Schools Get Clean Water Thanks to Elon Musk
Schools are responsible for keeping kids healthy, safe, and well-educated. This is made possible by the school staff, which is generally half made up of teachers and the other 50% is other staff like guidance counselors, speech therapists, and nurses. But school-aged children in Flint, Michigan are facing a much bigger problem than most: a lack of clean water. Fortunately, Elon Musk has brought clean water to these schools.
Back in July, Elon Musk tweeted that he would personally pay to bring clean water to Flint residents. And well, he kept his word. Musk has agreed to donate $480,350 for all 12 school buildings and the administration building in Flint to buy and use ultraviolet water filtration systems by January 2019.
Michigan’s Flint School District took to Twitter to thank the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, tweeting “Your generous donation will help us replace ALL water fountains w/NEW WATER STATIONS and WATER FILTRATION at ALL SCHOOLS! Looking forward to our burgeoning partnership! More to come!”
It’s all too easy for water to be contaminated in today’s society, especially with the U.S. holding more than 45% of the global pharmaceutical market and using a lot of potentially harmful chemicals. Flint’s tap water first became contaminated back in 2014 when the Detroit system was switched to the Flint River, causing lead to enter the water system. Getting access to clean water has been an area-wide problem over the years since the first incident.
Supposedly, the city failed to implement proper steps to prevent corrosive water from breaking down the lead pipes. And with each American using about 88 gallons of water at home each day, Flint residents quickly became exposed to the neurotoxin now in their drinking water.
But thanks to Musk’s donation, Flint children can at least have access to clean water at school.
Flint Community Schools Superintendent Derrick Lopez explained to MLive, “The new water filtration systems will be instrumental in helping our students return to the normalcy of what should be a fundamental right: having access to safe, clean water from water fountains in their school.”
The Flint school district contains 4,500 students and the school district has been searching for a long-term solution to their contaminated water issue. With the new water filtration systems, the school will be able to remove lead and bacteria from the water so students will have access to clean water when needed.
While Flint did receive $450 million in state and federal aid to provide residents with bottled water while pipes were being replaced to lessen the contamination, there is still lead in Flint’s water. Officials have said that the level of lead contaminants has dropped well below the federal threshold but according to the CDC, there is no safe level of lead for children to consume.
So despite Elon Musk being surrounded with controversy due to some Twitter comments, he made good on his promise to help bring clean water to Flint residents and his help could not have come soon enough.