Students walk outside Pershing High School, a public school in Detroit. Credit Carlos Osorio/Associated Press, Featured Image
Since 2016, water testing in the district has found elevated levels of lead or copper in dozens of schools. And while it is unclear how many of the district’s 106 schools currently have water quality issues, the drinking water will be turned off in all of them, Superintendent Nikolai P. Vitti said on Wednesday.
The latest round of water quality tests was conducted this year, and the results for 24 schools came in last week. Of those, 16 had at least one water source with elevated levels of lead, copper or both. That, coupled with testing results from 2016, brought the total number of schools with known water issues to 34.
It could take one more month for all of the schools’ test results to come back, Dr. Vitti said. He decided not to wait.
“Now that we’re seeing these higher levels of lead and copper, there’s no need to roll the dice,” he said of his decision to shut off the drinking water in all of the district’s public schools. He added that he had seen no indication that any students had suffered health problems because of the water.