Not Far From Flint, Contamination Has Left Detroit School Taps Dry
Ever since Flint’s water crisis, people in other communities have watched for signs of tainted water.
He’s been talking to contractors about replacing them, and hopes to get the work done in the next few months.
But his children may have been exposed to tainted water anyway — at school.
The water fountains in all 106 schools run by the Detroit Public Schools Community District have been dry since classes began in August.
“We are talking about Detroit now because we proactively tested all water sources, and defined the problem with a solution,” said Nikolai P. Vitti, the superintendent.
In Newark, N.J., officials insisted for months that drinking water was safe before reversing course last month when a new study showed lead contamination.
After the Flint crisis erupted, Michigan stepped up blood testing of children for elevated lead levels.
Others voiced outrage that the problem had gotten as far as it has, including Roslyn Markhal, whose daughter attends Chrysler Elementary, another school found to have elevated copper or lead levels in its water.
In the schools in Baltimore, officials have been using bottled water for drinking since 2007, after tests revealed elevated lead levels there.
Over the past 18 months, the Detroit Health Department has ramped up efforts to test children who may have been exposed, including sending workers to knock on the doors of every resident in neighborhoods where children have been found with elevated copper or lead levels, according to Tamekia Ashford, a spokeswoman for the department.