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Water coolers replace school drinking fountains in Detroit

DETROIT – Thousands of Detroit public schools students will be called to drink of district-supplied water coolers or bottled water on the first day of classes.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said last week that all the fountains would be shut off at the start of the school year after elevated levels of lead or copper were found in a number of establishments in 34 schools. Test results are pending for other schools.

Lead was found leaching from aging pipes into homes in Flint, Michigan, a few years ago. As a parent, Quala (KWAY’-luh) Bennett had two children at Gardner Elementary on Tuesday, she wondered why the district only recently began testing the water.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers union says that it is a complement to the district’s efforts by providing bottled water and hand sanitizers to schools.

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