Flint School District in Michigan finally got the help they need for safe and clean water fountains for their students, thanks to Elon Musk.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO made a bold statement on Twitter in July 2018, wrote that “Please consider this a commitment that I will fund fixing the water in any house in Flint that has water contamination above FDA levels. No kidding.”
Please consider this a commitment that I will fund fixing the water in any house in Flint that has water contamination above FDA levels. No kidding.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 11, 2018
Musk Donates Over $480,000 To Help Clean Tainted Water
According to CNN, the Flint School District announced on Friday, October 5 that a $480,350 donation from Musk will be used to install ultraviolet filters at all the Flint school and administration building. The project is expected to be completed by January 2019.
“The UV water purification method within the water filtration systems will disinfect all lead and bacteria coming from the water pipes to allow students to drink from and fill up water bottles from school water fountains,” the city of Flint wrote in a press. The Flint Public School System also sent out a tweet thanking Musk.
“Thank you @elonmusk and @MuskFoundation for investing in the health/future well-being FCS Students!,” the tweet wrote. “Your generous donation will help us replace ALL water fountains w/NEW WATER STATIONS & WATER FILTRATION at ALL SCHOOLS! Looking forward to our burgeoning partnership! More to come!”
Thank you @elonmusk and @MuskFoundation for investing in the health/future well-being FCS Students! Your generous donation will help us replace ALL water fountains w/NEW WATER STATIONS & WATER FILTRATION at ALL SCHOOLS! Looking forward to our burgeoning partnership! More to come!
— Flint Schools (@FlintSchools) October 4, 2018
“We are deeply grateful for the generosity and the budding partnership between Flint Community Schools, the Musk Foundation and Elon Musk,” Flint Community Schools Superintendent Derrick Lopez told CNN. “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.”
Flint Water Crisis
Four years ago, lead and other toxins were found to be training Flint’s water supply, which has been called the Flint Water Crisis. Since then, the whole community has struggled with water contamination problems.
Back in 2011, in order to reduce the water fund shortfall, the city of Flint announced that a new pipeline would be built to deliver water from Lake Huron to Flint. The problem began in 2014, after the construction delays, the city turned to the Flint River as a water source. Soon after the switch, residents said the water started to look, smell and taste funny. However, city and state officials denied for months that there was a serious problem, according to NPR.
By that time, supply pipes had sustained major corrosion and lead was leaching into the water. The city switched back to its original water supply late in 2015, but it was too late to reverse the damage to the pipes.
High blood lead levels are especially harmful to children and pregnant women, and can cause “learning disabilities, behavioral problems and mental retardation,” as NPR cited the World Health Organization in 2016.
Until 2018, more than a dozen lawsuits including several additional class-action suits, were filed against Michigan and the city of Flint, as well as various state and city officials and employees involved in the decision to switch the source of the drinking water. The range of remedies sought included monetary compensation for lead poisoning and refunds for water bills.