Philadelphia School District Receives $5 Million Grant for Clean Water Efforts

Nov. 21, 2022

The U.S. EPA has awarded The Philadelphia School District a $5 million grant to accelerate clean water efforts from the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. 

This funding will pay for 755 water filtration stations inside schools, along with kitchen sink filters and water sampling. Additionally, the funding will bring clean water training and education to the school systems' 114,600 students, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. 

Already, over 1,500 "hydration stations" have been installed throughout the district with the goal of having one filtered water station per every 100 students and at least one on every floor of the district's 216 schools. 

This past spring, the city council passed a law requiring the district to remove all lead from its drinking water by 2025. 

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Terraphase Engineering will test all drinking water outlets and remediate those with lead levels over 10 parts per billion and  install the hydration stations.

In February, parents and environmental advocates released a study that found that "61% of water sources tested in schools contained lead, and 98% of tested schools had some lead-containing water," The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. At the time, district officials disputed the study.

“We’re glad to see district officials moving quickly to tap into federal funding opportunities to comply with the new standards and protect our children’s health,” David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment and a district parent, said in a statement. “We hope other municipalities in the Delaware Valley will follow Philadelphia’s leadership, and publicly commit to replace all old-style drinking fountains with lead filtering hydration stations by 2025 in order to help protect the region’s kids from the threat of lead contamination.”

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Katie Johns

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