Detroit Offers Plan to Filter Tainted Public School Water

Detroit public school officials want to place water hydration stations in each of the district’s 106 buildings to provide a safe drinking source for students. Officials shut off the drinking water after some buildings showed high levels of lead or copper.

Members of Detroit’s Board of Education say they want more specifics before deciding whether to approve a plan to address lead and copper contamination in the public school’s water supply.

Jake Neher/WDET

Officials shut off the drinking water to all 106 Detroit public school buildings after a significant number of them showed elevated levels of lead or copper in the water supply.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti ordered that all of the district’s buildings be tested for the contaminants.

And the district placed water coolers in schools just prior to the beginning of classes.

Now Vitti is proposing to put “hydration stations” in each school, systems that filter water after it reaches a building.

He says it is a long-term solution that is relatively cost-effective, with a price tag of about $2 million.

But some Detroit Board of Education members say they want to know more before signing-off on the plan, including the test results of water from all school buildings, the specific cost for the hydration stations and which vendors will be chosen to do the work.

The school system plans to hold several public meetings to offer information about the status of the drinking water.  


  • Quinn Klinefelter

    Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.