By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 25, 2023 at 2:02 PM

Next week, Milwaukee-based Zurn Elkay Water Solutions and Milwaukee Public Schools will announce a donation of Elkay filters and filtration accessories to MPS worth $2.2 million across multiple years.

Over the summer (and in some cases, last spring) MPS used $5.5 million in federal funds to install almost 600 new filtered water bottle filling stations and upgraded 2,500 existing bubblers to Elkay’s filtration system.

Donated water filters and filter connectors were used as part of the work.

The filters reduce lead, odor, cysts (parasites, bacteria and other microorganisms), bad taste, chlorine and sediments at the point of use, according to MPS.

Bottle filling stations also cut down on the number of single-use plastic water bottles that are used and discarded.

In a recent tweet, Zurn Elkay – which has its headquarters in the Menomonee Valley – said, “13 million American children attend schools with elevated levels of lead in drinking water. Lead is undetectable through smell or taste, but its effects are devastating. Ingestion can lead to neurological issues including slowed growth and impaired learning. That’s why we work hard to make sure our Elkay filtered bottle filling stations effectively reduce lead."

According to the company's website, the bottle filling stations and filtration products have NSF/ANSI Standard 53 certification, which means they "effectively reduce lead from 150 parts per billion to less than 5 ppb, well below the EPA's action level of 15 ppb."

The donation announcement will come in an event on Monday morning with Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Zurn Elkay Chairman and CEO Todd A. Adams, MPS Superintendent Keith Posley, school board member Aisha Carr and Regina Navejar, principal of Frances Starms Early Childhood Center, 2616 W. Garfield Ave., where the event will take place.

K5 students at the school will get free water bottles that they can use in the school’s new water bottle filling station.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.