Detroit Public Schools officials say they will install hydration stations throughout the district to provide clean drinking water to students and staff.
The hydration stations use filtration technology designed to cool water and remove lead, copper and other contaminants. The district will install one station for every student in all of the district's buildings, as well as one in every gym and faculty lounge.
The purchase and installation of the hydration stations is expected to cost around $3 million.
“We worked expeditiously to identify a long-term drinking water solution that ensures all students and staff have access to safe and clean drinking water,” said Nikolai P. Vitti, Superintendent, DPSCD in a news release. “This is the solution to turning drinking water back on in our schools. We are extremely grateful to our donors who continue to step up and assist us with maintaining a safe learning environment.”
The United Way for Southeast Michigan is spearheading the philanthropic campaign to fund the hydration systems, giving $500,000. They have also set up a dedicated website for donations.
Donations have also been received from Quicken Loans, the Delta Dental Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, General Motors, Ford Motor Company Fund, FCA Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan/Blue Care Network, Ascension Michigan, the Detroit Medical Center, Health Alliance Plan/Henry Ford Health System, The Jewish Fund and an anonymous donor.
Detroit Public Schools will be one of the largest school districts to use hydration stations, which are already used in Royal Oak, Ann Arbor, and Birmingham.
The current plan is to have the systems installed in every school building by summer of 2019. Until the systems are installed, the schools will continue to use water coolers to provide drinking water. Those water coolers will be removed once the systems are operational.
The district is providing more information on the systems and drinking water in general on their website.