LANSING — State Representative Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) is introducing a proposal that would protect Michigan’s school children by requiring water quality to be tested at schools at least once every three years. There is currently no requirement that schools regularly test their water quality.

“As we’ve seen in our state, we can no longer take the quality of our water for granted,” Rep. Zemke said. “Most communities work hard to provide safe water to residents, but poor decision making and environmental hazards threaten the quality of our water. Unfortunately, children are most vulnerable to toxins in our water, which is why we must take extra steps to protect them.”

Flint has received worldwide attention because decisions made by the city’s emergency manager and approved by state officials led to the use of untreated water that corroded pipes and leeched lead into the city’s water system. But Flint isn’t the only city that faces a water crisis. A spreading plume of dioxane is moving further into the city of Ann Arbor and could reach the Huron River.

“We shouldn’t wait until our children are already harmed by lead, dioxane or other poisons before we take action to save them,” Rep. Zemke said. “In Flint, people were told that lead-tainted water was safe to drink for more than a year before the state admitted the water was poisoned. With regular water testing programs, we can catch problems when they start, rather than waiting until our children have been irrevocably harmed.”