Photo: Michele Tantussi/Reuters
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has always had a deep empathy for the problems of humanity. While he mainly solves mankind's global problems, he also does not forget to help solve more pressing, smaller in scale problems. One of these problems was the water supply of Flint schools, whose students and teachers have not had access to clean drinking water for many years.
Lead and galvanized iron was found in a school’s plumbing system in Flint. In addition, in some buildings of the educational institution, the level of chlorine in the water was not always sufficient to completely disinfect. All this created big problems and closed access to drinking water. The school administration was forced to purchase and deliver bottled water, but this was very costly and ineffective.
In October 2018, Musk Foundation donated $480,000 to cover the cost of installing ultraviolet water stations in all Flint school buildings and the administration building. In 2021, thorough water testing began, which showed that the system works perfectly, delivering clean water to all buildings.
On February 8, 2022, the ribbon-cutting ceremony and the first drink from a fountain at one of Flint's schools took place. “This means a lot. Water should not be something that we have to pay for—water is a necessity of life. It should not be something we have to fight for,” Superintendent Kevelin Jones said on a Tuesday at the ceremony at the high school, according to MLive. Jones, Board of Education President Danielle Green, Principal Chris Ochodnicky, Board Secretary Adrian Walker and 9th grader Rachya Spottsville took the first sip at the fountain.
“As important, it is to have the water be safe, it is more important that people believe it is safe,” said Laura Sullivan, a Kettering professor of mechanical engineering, who has been working to get these hydration systems installed since 2016.
“It feels amazing to have clean water as an option now,” Spottsville said. For the past six years, the district has been supplying bottled water to each of the buildings, Jones said.
In addition, in December 2018, the Musk Foundation made a second donation of $423,600 to provide a Google Chromebook to all seventh- and eighth-grade students as part of the district’s effort to improve middle-school education.
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.