Water fountains funded by Elon Musk operational in Flint schools

The fountains filter lead, chlorine, bacteria and also have a chiller

Hydration systems funded by the Elon Musk Foundation are in use at schools in Flint, Michigan.

According to the Booth Diariesthere are a total of 136 hydration stations in 12 buildings used by Flint schools.

The Flint Southwestern Classical Academy will have 15 hydration stations.

“It means a lot. Water shouldn’t be something we have to pay for – water is a necessity of life. It shouldn’t be something we have to fight for,” Superintendent Kevelin Jones said during a Feb. 8 ceremony at the school, Booth Newspapers reported.

According to Booth Newspapers, the fountains filter out lead, chlorine, bacteria and also have a chiller.


Laura Sullivan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Kettering, was credited with working to install these hydration systems since 2016. The hydration system filters were tested by researchers at Kettering, again by Arc Environmental, as well as an environmental consultant from Flint Schools.

“As important as it is that the water is safe, it’s more important that people believe it’s safe,” Sullivan said, Booth Newspapers reported.

Musk donated $480,000 in October 2018 to cover the cost of installing ultraviolet (UV) water stations in all school buildings in Flint.

The district has provided bottled water to each of the buildings since 2016, Booth Newspapers reported. COVID-19 and issues with the original filter manufacturer have slowed this company’s progress, reported The Flint Beat. According to Sullivan, the original filters had inconsistent results and were also not NSF certified to remove contaminants.

Jones, Board of Education President Danielle Green, Principal Chris Ochodnicky, Board Secretary Adrian Walker and 9th grader Rachya Spottsville released the first drinks from the fountain when it was unveiled.

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