Elon Musk’s $480K donation to Flint, MI is still helping the city address its water crisis

Last October, Elon Musk quietly donated $480,350 to Flint, MI to help with the installation of ultraviolet water filtration systems for the city’s schools. A recent report from the city has revealed that Musk’s donation continues to help Flint until today.

As noted in an MLive report, the Flint Community Schools Board of Trustees met last Wednesday to approve a proposal to pay the Arch Environmental Group $19,558 to perform water testing and flushing in the area. The testing and flushing will be handled using the donated funds from the Tesla and SpaceX CEO.

Musk’s donation, which was released through the Musk Foundation, a private foundation founded by Elon and Kimbal Musk back in 2002, received widespread support from the city’s officials. Derrick Lopez, the Superintendent of Flint Community Schools, expressed his gratitude to the Tesla and SpaceX CEO in a statement.

“We are deeply grateful for the generosity and the budding partnership between Flint Community Schools, the Musk Foundation and Elon Musk. The new water filtration systems will be instrumental in helping our students return to the normalcy of what should be a fundamental right: having access to safe, clean water from water fountains in their school,” Lopez said then.

By mid-December 2018, school board members approved the use of $221,000 of the donated funds for the installation of water cooler/bottle filler systems from Murdock Manufacturing. Some of these systems that were installed on the school buildings included water fountains and water coolers for the city’s students.

During last Wednesday’s meeting, Superintendent Derrick Lopez revealed that four filtration units are currently in use. Lopez noted that two units of the filtration system will be sent to Kettering University, another one will be set up at the Doyle Ryder Elementary School, and the fourth will be installed at the Southwestern Classical Academy.

The Kettering University lab will be testing the two water filtration units by running contaminated water to make sure that the system filters out any harmful elements. “This is the lab mixing what could be in our water, even our worst-case scenarios, and putting it through the filtration system to test it,” Lopez noted during the meeting.

Other water filtration systems that are set to be deployed will be tested through December as parallel testing is ongoing at Kettering University. According to Lopez, this will be done “to make sure that everything is going well.” The Flint, MI school district will also be holding an informational meeting on September 17, 2019 to discuss the board’s plan for the distribution and rollout of the remaining water filtration systems.

Lopez added that the next set of filtration units are already in transit, though he did not state which school building they would be intended for. He did note that a second shift installation will be completed by Flint-based plumbing and construction firm Goyette Mechanical.

Apart from the $480,350 donation for the city’s UV water filtration systems, the Musk foundation has also released $423,600 worth of funds to the school district for the purchase of Chromebooks for middle school students in the city.

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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