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Keep Schools Healthier
and More Hygienic with Elkay

Why Elkay® Products are the Perfect Use OF ESSER Funds

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) established in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was to help small businesses across the country. Soon after, the government expanded the funding opportunities to the education field. Congress has infused approximately $13.2 billion into K-12 education to address the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the United States. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA) provides an additional $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief II Fund (ESSER II Fund).

The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund) has opened the door to many opportunities in the world of cleaner and healthier schools. Funds are granted to local educational agencies (LEA) like school committees, school boards, board of trustees, etc. Each of these agencies are selected by their state educational agency (SEA) based on who applies and how much money was provided from the 2019 fiscal year Title I, Part A subgrant. The ESSER Funds are to provide local schools with money to improve the health and safety of facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the responsibility of LEAs to apply for the ESSER Funds. They can help serve the communities that they represent to receive the products and services that will create a healthier and safer environment for schools.

Why Are Drinking Water Solutions Important?

In an article by Mark Lieberman, he discusses how schools have been spending the ESSER Funds. One of the main things he addresses is the transition of schools to HVAC systems that help improve air quality in buildings. Making the air cleaner is just one step toward making the overall school a healthier place to learn and to teach in. Lieberman states that, “The next most common facilities upgrade, though, is one that’s flown under the radar.” (Liebermann 2021). Under the radar indeed, but needs to be more acknowledged and appreciated, especially with the funding that will help schools pay for them. The next step should be to include healthy drinking water products in schools. Not only will the products improve the water quality but also improve the health of the students and faculty. Because of Elkay’s filtration technology that reduces the levels of chemicals and other contaminants, the water is safer and cleaner to consume.

Elkay sets the standard in schools by offering a wide range of plumbing solutions that put cleaner, healthier water within reach. Across our large portfolio, you’ll find antimicrobial copper sinks, hands-free bottle filling stations, advanced filtration capabilities and a variety of sensor faucet options. Elkay has something to suit all your water needs in the education space. Specifically, Elkay believes there are must-have products for schools. These ideal products include the ezH2O bottle filling stations, hands-free faucets, antimicrobial sinks and more. Elkay also created two new products: Floor Standing Point of Use Bottle Filling Station and Refrigerated Surface Mount Bottle Filling Station. These products are convenient and easy to include in any area of a school and can be purchased using the ESSER Funds.


What makes Elkay’s products so perfect for ESSER Funds are the hands-free features Elkay provides which allow for a smarter and safer way to access water. Without needing to touch a water bubbler or a faucet, millions of germs are being prevented from spreading from kid to kid. The convenience of filtered water, quickly and easily flowing into a reusable bottle has a lot of advantages—advantages more schools need to invest in.

Clean and Safe to Drink

Mark Liebermann includes the point about the Flint, Michigan water crisis with excess levels of lead in the drinking water. Since then, many schools perform routine tests to ensure school drinking water is safe. However, in recent years, many school districts reported lead findings in the drinking water. What better time and opportunity than today to spend ESSER Funds on Elkay products that will not only combat the issue of contaminated water but also give learning facilities a place where hands-free water delivery products are the norm.

Green and Eco-Friendly

Not only does Elkay believe in helping communities and making a positive change to the world but we believe that change starts at the source. Bringing in products like ezH2O bottle filling station to schools establishes the idea that using reusable bottles can help save the world. Encouraging students and faculty to use less plastic is just one more benefit to install an Elkay bottle filler.

An Accessible and Efficient Experience

Another reason why Elkay products are the ideal addition to schools is for normal lead times on bottle filling stations. Liebermann reported that, “Slightly more than a third of responding districts said labor shortages are a major challenge; 34% cited supply chain effects on product shipment delays; and 21% said they feel constrained by timelines that may prevent facilities projects from coming to fruition.” (Liebermann 2021). However, Elkay has been able to get on top of orders and production and are proud to say the words, “back to normal.” Being able to produce and manufacture products in the United States is something Elkay is very proud of and allows production to continue through difficult times. Elkay is looking forward to continuing to serve customers in the most efficient and effective ways possible.



  1. Filtered ezH2O Bottle Filling Stations reduce lead and other harmful contaminants, putting cleaner, healthier water within everyone’s reach. Elkay continues to expand its ezH2O bottle filling station offerings. This innovative and award-winning product line upholds the company’s commitment to delivering clean water and sustainable design. It provides a rapid fill of drinking water to quench thirst and minimize plastic bottle waste in the environment.

    The ezH2O Floor Standing Point of Use Bottle Filling Station, Filtered, 8GPH, Stainless Steel offers a refreshing and hygienic upgrade to existing Elkay water coolers. This freestanding bottle filling station is convenient and can be installed in any indoor location where there is a water supply and drain. Minimize dependency on disposable plastic water bottles and enjoy chilled, filtered water.

    The ezH2O Refrigerated Surface Mount Bottle Filling Station offers the same great experience you’ve come to expect from Elkay’s ezH2O bottle filling stations with refrigerated surface mount units. Chilled water is dispensed from this bottle filling station to deliver a truly refreshing solution. The station is designed for installations with limited wall depth, such as school hallways and delivers refreshing, refrigerated water where you need it. This intuitive bottle filling station provides a completely hands-free, hygienic water delivery solution for any indoor space.

  2. Antimicrobial Sinks offer the highest quality 18-gauge thickness for lasting durability and surfaces that are blended to a lustrous, highlighted satin finish. These sinks are not only beautiful but powerful. The antimicrobial copper used to produce these sinks is registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to continuously kill more than 99.9% of bacteria within two hours. The antimicrobial properties create a strong defense against germs and bacteria while looking sleek and staying durable.

  3. Hands-Free Faucets offer sensor-activated options to help keep scrub and hand wash stations sanitary. Providing schools with hands-free technology automatically eliminates the middleman to the spreading of germs. Making as many things as possible touchless, helps reduce the spreading of disease and viruses. Faucets can be installed in bathrooms, classrooms, nurses’ offices and anywhere else one can think of. Why not make a faucet hands-free? It is one more way to make a school a healthier place to be. Here are a couple Elkay hands-free faucets below:

    • LKB721C Elkay Commercial Electronic Sensor Scrub/Handwash Battery Powered Deck Mount Faucet Chrome
    • LKB737C Elkay Commercial Electronic Lavatory Battery Powered Deck Mount Faucet with Cast Fixed Spout Chrome
  4. Standard Wall Mount Coolers (Hands-Free Activation) offer cleaner, healthier hydration with touchless sensor activation and Elkay’s Flexi-Guard® bubbler, which features a flexible, antimicrobial mouth guard. The new and improved water cooler is powered by Elkay’s hands-free technology making way for easy access to water and saying goodbye to germs.



On March 27, 2020, Congress set aside approximately $13.2 billion for the ESSER Fund, of the $30.75 billion allotted to the Education Stabilization Fund through the CARES Act. The department awarded grants to SEAs for the purpose of providing LEAs with emergency relief funds to address the impacts of COVID-19. Funds are awarded to SEAs based on the funds they received under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year 2019. ESSER I is the CARES Act and funds expire on Sept. 30, 2022.


The CRRSA Act, 2021, was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, and provided an additional $54.3 billion for the ESSER Fund. ESSER II Funds are awarded to SEAs based on the funds they received under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year 2020. Allowable uses for ESSER II include: “Making school facility repairs and improvements to enable operation of schools to reduce the risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards, and to support student health needs.” ESSER II is the CRRSA Act and funds expire on Sept. 30, 2023.


On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act was signed into law. It was an unprecedented $1.9 trillion package of assistance measures. It includes $122 billion for the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. Funds are provided to SEAs and LEAs to help safely reopen and sustain the normal operation of schools prior to COVID19. ARP ESSER are awarded to SEAs based on the funds they received under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year 2020. ESSER III is the ARP Act and funds expire on Sept. 30, 2024.


Time to act is limited as the ESSER Funds come to an end soon. Giving schools the opportunity to make their facilities stronger in any way possible is what Elkay stands for. This federal investment is unprecedented and unique to what our world endured over the past few years. It is an opportunity that must be capitalized upon. Now is the time. And time should never be wasted.

IMARK Group is dedicated to supporting and advancing the cause of family-run and independently operated distributors around the world. Like most families, Elkay has values and traditions that endure. The company takes pride in offering reliable products that inspire change and leave the world a better place for generations to come. Headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, Elkay is American-owned and operated, providing thousands of jobs that support families and communities.

Find multiple resources regarding products subject to ESSER funds on

Related to using this funding for construction activities. Refer to the excerpt below:

“…construction activities, including renovations or remodeling, that are necessary for an LEA to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 could be permissible, though the burden remains on grantees and subgrantees to maintain the appropriate documentation that supports the expenditure. [An] LEA using ESSER or GEER funds for remodeling, renovation, and new construction must comply with additional federal requirements. For example, these projects require prior written approval by an LEA’s Governor or SEA.” (U.S. Department of Education Sept. 2, 2021)