As concern spread nationwide over the water quality in Flint, Michigan, this month, officials were quietly monitoring three schools in other parts of the state for similar conditions. Michigan Live reported Thursday that Dimondale Elementary School, Ogemaw Heights High School and Faith Community Christian School were undergoing testing after lead was found in their water supplies.
The schools were reportedly among eight non-community places outside of Flint being watched by the state's department of environmental quality. Authorities were on alert because lead poisoning can hurt children's brain development and cause kidney damage, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The recent situation in Flint has inspired three state of emergency designations, thousands of water bottle donations and protests about the local government's decision to use untreated, highly corrosive water for the city's supply. Multiple schools in Flint were found to have water lead levels that exceeded the safety limit.
But the schools outside the city maintained that the investigations were the result of old incidents. At Ogemaw Heights High, the toxic water came from a water fountain that has since been replaced, superintendent Phil Mikulski told Michigan Live. Faith Community Christian Principal Kim Borbeson said the problematic water at her school came from two faucets.
"It wasn't anything with our regularly used water or sinks. No students were exposed to it," Borbeson told Michigan Live. "But it was an issue."
However, as in Flint, the true effects of lead poisoning could take a while to show up in children. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver told CNN this week that she worried the city may need more money in the future to handle mental health and juvenile justice problems that could arise as a result of kids' disruptive development. There's no end in sight.
"We still can't use the water and we don't know how long it will take before we can," Weaver told BBC News.