LANSING — State Rep. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) announced today that his House Resolution supporting the reinstatement of a real-time water quality monitoring network between Lake Huron and Lake Erie and establishing similar networks across the state will be formally introduced and read in when the House meets for session on Wednesday, Sept. 6. The Huron-to-Erie network once protected drinking water quality for more than 4 million people living in Southeast Michigan.

“The Huron-to-Erie monitoring system gave these communities peace of mind knowing that they had an early warning system to detect oil spills, chemical leaks and other contaminants so they could prevent their water being contaminated,” said Hertel. “The system showed its worth in 2011 when it detected a spill from a Port Huron paper mill. Operators were able to quickly shut down the city’s drinking water plant to protect residents. We need our communities to come together and restart this valuable water monitoring system.”

The system came online in 2006 and was originally developed and funded through a partnership among federal, state and local governments. The system shut down in 2012 when federal dollars ran out, local governments were strapped for funds, and county officials were also unwilling to fund the system.

“As we have seen, the failure to pay attention to what is in our water and to detect problems early can lead to severe consequences. We need to do whatever we can to monitor and protect our water — our citizens deserve to know what they are drinking,” said Hertel. “If our county officials would support this system, I think we could see this system come back online and even have the potential to create similar systems in other parts of the state. We all drink the water, so we all have a stake in knowing that it’s clean and free of contaminants. “As demonstrated in the city of Flint, the failure to detect a problem can have widespread and lethal consequences. I look forward to working with government officials at all levels to do all we can to protect our drinking water.”