Michigan Senate passes ‘Filter First’ water safety legislation

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 2:03 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The “Filter First water safety legislation passed in the Michigan Senate ensures children and staff at schools centers are given access to safe and filtered drinking water.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D–Flint) along with Senator Curt VanderWall (R–Ludington) reintroduced the legislation that passed Tuesday. The bills would require every childcare center and school to have NSF-approved filters for taps and drinking fountains.

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“Parents should be able to trust that when they send their child off to school or drop them off at daycare, they will be drinking clean, safe water throughout the day,” Ananich said. “Right now, that’s not a guarantee, but it can be if we make sure every water source has a filter on it. As buildings continue to age, water quality becomes increasingly unpredictable. Our bills take the guesswork out of it by ensuring that schools and daycares install filters, keeping lead and other toxins out of the water supply and our kids safe and healthy.”

According to a press release from Senator Ananich, kids are potentially at risk of ingesting lead when they drink from a water fountain. Lead ingestion can possibly slow down development, create a shorter attention span, damage kidneys, and cause weakened immune systems.

Schools in low-income areas are what the two bills plan to target, as it will help these communities afford the filters and future upkeep for drinking water.

Senator Ananich sent out a statement when the legislation passed in the state senate.

“Our children deserve to be drinking clean water when they’re at school and daycare; it’s that simple,” Ananich said. “But when infrastructure ages and school water systems lay dormant over the summer, we can’t be certain that the water kids drink during the day is free of toxins and contaminants. With filters, we have that certainty. That’s why Democrats and Republicans are coming together in support of this plan that will protect the health and well-being of the next generation.”

The legislation now heads to the state house of representatives for consideration.

You can view the bills passed on the legislation website.


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