Flint, Michigan has had problems with their water since 2014. It all started when the city switched its water source from the city of Detroit to the Flint River in an attempt to save money. The city was in such a state of economic depression that their need to save money went too far. When they switched their water source they failed to apply corrosion inhibitors, which are necessary to reduce the release of heavy metals from the old pipe system and contaminated water.
Due to the heavy pollution from the river and the old city water pipes, the water was marked unsafe for drinking. Since then, the city’s residents have had to strictly use bottled water only. Naturally, the people of Flint no longer trust the city officials when they claim the water is ok to drink now.
The truth is, in early 2017 the water tests showed that lead levels had dropped to safe levels, for the most part… Give or take a few samples from ongoing testing at schools that exceeded thresholds believed to be safe. Reassuring much? Hence why the donation from Musk came as such a blessing.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk had made a promise to help Flint, Michigan get clean water. Many people didn’t believe him but in the end, he kept his promise. The Musk Foundation generously gave almost a half a million dollars to the city so they could install new ultraviolet water filtration systems for all its water fountains in every single school building.
Flint Community Schools Superintendent Derrick Lopez spoke for the city in a statement saying they are “deeply grateful for the generosity between The Musk foundations and Elon Musk. The new water filtration system will be instrumental in helping our students return to normalcy of what should be a fundamental right to have safe, clean drinking water from water fountains in their schools.”
The following information applies to each of the twelve schools in the Flint district. The filtration systems that have been installed use an ultraviolet purification method that effectively disinfects and removes any bacteria present from the water pipes. Plus, all new water fountains will be installed. All systems and fountains are expected to be in place by the end of January 2019.
Thanks to this gift, the students can safely drink from water fountains instead of having to buy and bring water bottles. This act of kindness is convenient and comforting for the people, as well as good for the planet.
As well as providing almost half a million dollars for the water filtration systems, Flint Community Schools district will also be receiving $423,000 to give all 7th and 8th-grade students Chromebook laptops that they will be able to bring home.
“We will begin this winter with our current seventh graders moving into eighth grade and how they use that technology and our current sixth graders and how they use that technology (moving into seventh grade),” said Derrick Lopez, superintendent of Flint schools. “Then they will be able to take them home and use them as an instructional tool so that is power in and of itself.”
The announcement to pay for the Chromebooks was made on Wednesday.