Elon Musk Pays for Water Filtration Systems in Flint Schools

Twelve schools in Flint, Michigan will receive water filtration systems paid for by The Musk Foundation.

via Getty Images

Amid the recent bad press that has darkened the headlines for Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the billionaire looks to shed some light by following through on his previous promise to help Flint, Michigan with its water quality problems. The Musk Foundation will provide $480,000 for 12 schools in the Flint school district to install ultraviolet water filtration systems in its water fountains according to Detroit News.

In a recent tweet by the Flint Community Schools, the administration confirmed that Musk made a donation that would be used to install a water filtration system district-wide. The district has a total of 4,500 students. It is not clear which schools in the district will benefit from The Musk Foundation water filtration systems specifically.

Flint's problems with lead contamination in its water began in 2014 after the city began using water from the nearby Flint River without adding chemicals to control corrosion in its aging water infrastructure. in 2015, Flint rescinded its plan and began using Detroit's public water system once again, but the damage had already been done.

Flint water had reached an average of 27 ppb (parts per billion), while an independent sample studied at one resident's home revealed levels as high as 397 ppb. Over the next two years, Flint's problem went viral and aid rushed to the city. Flint received a $450 million state and federal stimulus package which helped to provide residents with bottled water during the interim period in which pipes were replaced. 

When an individual tweeted to Musk earlier this year, the philanthropist committed to helping fix any home in need.

In 2018, officials revealed that lead levels fell to an acceptable 6 ppb, well under the federal threshold of 15 ppb. Musk's donation is important because, although Flint's water may be in better shape, there are no safe lead levels for children according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Musk foundation's mission is to provide grants for renewable energy, space exploration, pediatric research, and education for the sciences.