SAN DIEGO — San Diego Unified's Board of Education voted unanimously on adopting a proposed clean drinking water plan at Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting. 

An example of what they’re planning to do has already been put in place at Clay Elementary in Rolando. Four hydration stations have been installed so the tap water runs through their filters. What comes out has less than 1 part per billion of lead, or is lead-free, which wasn’t always the case. Clay Elementary had a few pipes with 5 parts per billion of lead and those pipes have since been repaired but they also added the hydration stations as part of the pilot program for the district.

Superintendent Cindy Marten encouraged the San Diego Board of Education to approve filtration stations throughout the San Diego Unified School District. They approved the plan unanimously Tuesday night. Marten’s hope is all California schools follow San Diego’s lead in this Clean Water strategy.

This started back when they took five samples of water from all district sites and some fountains and had elevated levels of 5 parts per billion of lead. That’s the level Marten says is in the bottled water you buy at the store. Any pipes above that have been fixed, like the ones at Clay Elementary. Students and the principal at Clay Elementary say they are pleased with the hydration stations. It also encourages them to reuse bottles instead of using and throwing out plastic water bottles. 

Installing hydration stations at all schools in the district will come at a cost. School officials say it’ll cost $12 million through 2024 to install filters in all schools in San Diego Unified School District, and another $400,000 a year to replace the filters.

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