High levels of lead, copper found in water at 57 Detroit schools

- About two-thirds of Detroit public schools where results have been provided tested positive for elevated levels of copper and/or lead, according to the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

DPSCD says test results showed that 57 of 86 schools where test results have been provided have high elevations of lead and/or copper. This new round of tests added 33 to the list.

The district is still awaiting results from 17 schools (A.L. Holmes, Catherine Ferguson, Palmer Park, Davison, Fisher Upper/Lower, Pershing) and 10 Di-Hydro schools. Parents and students will be informed via a backpack letter home an automated call home.

Drinking water shut off at Detroit schools for elevated lead, copper levels

DPSCD says the plan is to continue using water coolers and evaluating bids to make a recommendation to the board for the use of hydration stations within the next few weeks. 

By the beginning of the next school year, water coolers would be replaced by hydration stations -- one hydration station per 100 students, as well as one in the gym, kitchen and faculty lounge.

Detroit school district considering $2M plan to temporarily fix water in schools

The water issue began toward the end of the last school year when the district tested the water of the school buildings, evaluating all water sources from drinking fountains to sinks. High elevations of lead and/or copper were found in 16 of 24 schools. Schools turned off drinking water and instead provided water coolers and bottled water.

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School Board President Iris Taylor released the following statement regarding the testing and its results: 

"Superintendent Vitti boldly took a proactive approach and tested all water sources without any mandate from federal, state, or local requirements. This was done in the best interest of children and our employees. Our hope is that all districts and schools will make this decision soon. The School Board was aware of this decision and fully supported it. We also fully supported the decision to discontinue drinking water as we awaited test results. That decision was verified with the last round of test results returned. As an elected body and appointed Superintendent we are empowered by the citizens of Detroit to immediately own challenges and problems of the school district. We are also expected to transparently inform and engage our internal and external communities about those challenges and solutions. We have proudly done both since initial water results were returned. We must own our challenges and problems as a district. As a Board and administrative team, we have provided a safe, short-term solution to our water challenge by using water coolers. Regardless of any additional results, we are confident that the long-term solution recommended by the Superintendent (hydration stations) is viable and a best practice in other districts. The bidding procedures will be followed to ensure we obtain the best quality, price, and service for the stations over the next two weeks. The board plans to meet with the superintendent by the beginning of October to review and likely approve the hydration station solution."

According to the district:

Below is a list of the 52 schools where water tests have been recently returned. In addition is a list of schools where previous test results were released. 

Most Recent Round of Test Results (33 of 52)

No.

School Name

Exceedance for Lead or Copper

1

Ann Arbor Trail Magnet School

Yes

2

Bagley Elementary School

Yes

3

Bethune Elementary-Middle School

Yes

4

Blackwell Institute, Catherine C

No

5

Brenda Scott

No

6

Brewer

Yes

7

Carleton Elementary School

Yes

8

Central High School/Durfee ES/MS

No

9

Chrysler Elementary School

Yes

10

Cody High School

Yes

11

Communication & Media Arts High School

No

12

Cooke Elementary School , STEM Academy

No

13

Davis Aerospace HS at Golightly

Yes

14

Denby

Yes

15

Detroit International Academy for Young Women

Yes

16

Detroit School of Arts (DSA)

No

17

Dossin Elementary/Middle School

No

18

Douglass Academy for Young Men

Yes

19

Duke Ellington @ Beckham

No

20

East English Village/Diann Banks Williams

No

21

Emerson Elementary/Middle School

Yes

22

Fleming

Yes

23

Gardner Elementary

Yes

24

Golightly Educational Center

Yes

25

Gompers, Samuel L. Elementary/Middle School

No

26

Greenfield Union Elementary/Middle School

Yes

27

Henderson, Erma Academy

Yes

28

Henry Ford High School/Turning Point

No

29

King, Martin Luther Jr. Senior High School

No

30

Law

Yes

31

Mackenzie Elementary/Middle School

No

32

Mann Elementary School

Yes

33

Marquette Elementary/Middle School

Yes

34

Mason Elementary/Middle School

yes

35

Mumford High School

Yes

36

Munger Elementary/Middle School

No

37

Nichols Academy

Yes

38

Nolan

Yes

39

Osborn

Yes

40

Pasteur Elementary School

Yes

41

Priest

No

42

Pulaski

Yes

43

Randolph Career Academy – Construction Trades

Yes

44

Robeson, Paul / Malcolm X Academy (at Hally)

No

45

Schulze Elementary/Middle School

No

46

Southeastern High School

Yes

47

Speech & Hearing – (Day School for Deaf)

Yes

48

Twain, Mark Academy

Yes

49

West Side Academy

Yes

50

Western International High School

Yes

51

White

No

52

Wright, Charles Lower Academy

Yes


Previously Released Test Results

School Name

Exceedance for Lead or Copper

Academy of the Americas Elementary-Middle School

Yes

Academy of the Americas High School

No

Adult Education- East

Yes

Adult Education- West

No

Bates Academy

Yes

Bennett Elementary-Middle School

Yes

Burns Elementary School

No

Cass Technical High School

Yes

Roberto Clemente Elementary

Yes

Clippert Elementary Middle School

Yes

Coleman Young Elementary School

Yes

Davis Aerospace @ Golightly

Yes

Dixon Academy

Yes

Drew Trainable Center

No

Earhart Elementary-Middle School

No

Foreign Language Immersion

Yes

Harms Elementary School

No

Hutchinson @ Howe

Yes

Keidan

Yes

Neinas Elementary School

No

Noble Elementary-Middle School

Yes

Marcus Garvey

Yes

Maybury Elementary School

No

Renaissance High School

Yes

Burton International

Yes

Bow Elementary-Middle School

Yes

Carstens Elementary-Middle School

Yes

Carver STEM

Yes

Clark Elementary-Middle School

Yes

Detroit Lions Academy

Yes

Ludington Magnet Middle School

No

Ronald Brown Academy

No

Sampson-Webber Academy

Yes

Spain Elementary-Middle School

Yes

Below are the first round of test results and the 24 schools tested :

Schools with isolated water sources with elevated levels detected in latest round of water testing:

  1. Academy of the Americas Elementary-Middle School
  2. Adult Education- East
  3. Bates Academy
  4. Bennett Elementary-Middle School
  5. Cass Technical High School
  6. Roberto Clemente Elementary
  7. Clippert Elementary Middle School
  8. Coleman Young Elementary School
  9. Davis Aerospace @ Golightly
  10. Dixon Academy
  11. Foreign Language Immersion
  12. Hutchinson @ Howe
  13. Keidan
  14. Noble Elementary-Middle School
  15. Marcus Garvey
  16. Renaissance High School

No elevations detected in latest round of water testing results returned: 

  1. Academy of the Americas High School
  2. Adult Education- West
  3. Burns Elementary School
  4. Drew Transition Center
  5. Earhart Elementary-Middle School
  6. Harms Elementary School
  7. Neinas Elementary School
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