Uber to collect bottled water donations for Flint

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Uber is the latest business to collect bottled water for students in the Flint Community Schools as the city deals with concerns about the quality of its drinking water.

On Tuesday, Uber drivers began collecting donations of bottled water. Drivers will pick up donations from homes, offices and schools between 2-7 p.m. through Thursday, said Leor Reef, a representative for Uber.

“We want to help people give back to Flint,” Reef said.

Last month, the city issued an advisory about its drinking water after concerns surfaced about lead contamination.

A year and a half after Flint cut ties to Detroit’s water system and began drawing water from the Flint River, concerns remains about the city’s municipal water supply. According to officials, the water is corrosive and causing lead to leach from old pipes and service lines. Test results have revealed rising lead levels in children’s blood.

Residents have complained that water from their faucets looks “like urine” and smelled “like the sewer.” The problems are a hardship for a city where 41.5 percent of the population is below the poverty line.

On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration made free water filters available for residents.

The state will also work to expedite construction of a new water line to Lake Huron so a planned water authority that would service Flint could get up and running as soon as possible.

The advisory prompted the school district to ask students to bring their own bottled water to school and to not use the drinking fountains. Flint Community Schools Superintendent Bilal Tawwab also requested bottled water donations. Home Depot is among businesses to donate cases of bottled water to the district.

“Flint Community Schools is grateful to have such strong community support and thanks all organizations, businesses and individuals who have wrapped their arms around our school district these past few weeks,” Tawwab said Tuesday.

Uber drivers will collect new, sealed bottles, gallons or jugs of water. Donations can be made through the Uber app by choosing the “WATERFORFLINT” option. Donations should be brought out to the Uber driver when they arrive.