JUNE 22, 2017 — The Water Authority’s June 21 Board included a discussion of supplemental fluoridation of the community’s drinking water, which will be up for a final vote in August. About 70 people were in attendance, with 28 offering comments to the Board.
The vote is slated to take place during the Water Authority’s regularly scheduled August 23 Board meeting. Board meetings are held at 5:00 PM in the Vincent E. Griego Council Chambers in the basement of the City/County Government Center at One Civic Plaza. If you are unable to attend the meeting and wish to submit comments via email, they can be sent to ABQFluoride2017@gmail.com Comments can also be mailed to:
c/o Public Affairs Office
PO Box 568
Albuquerque, NM 87103
To be considered, comments must be received by close of business on July 31.
BACKGROUND: Via referendum, citizens of Albuquerque approved fluoridation of drinking water in the early 1970s. The Water Authority suspended addition of supplemental fluoride to the municipal drinking water supply in 2011 pending the issuance of new recommendations on optimal fluoride levels from the federal government. The Centers for Disease Control eventually issued a recommended optimal level of 0.7 mg/L in 2015.
Water Authority staff responded by developing a fluoridation plan to meet – as closely as possible – the recommended optimal level system-wide. It is expected that implementation costs will be offset by energy savings due to the recent installation of a solar array at the Water Authority’s drinking water treatment plant.
PROPOSED FLUORIDATION PLAN:
LOCATION: Addition of fluoride would take place at the Water Authority’s San Juan-Chama drinking water plant, which treats all the surface water used throughout the Water Authority’s system. This is a secure facility, designed for safe handling of bulk chemicals.
METHOD: Addition of liquid fluorosilicic acid, the NSF 60-approved chemical of choice for most systems. This will result in an actual fluoride concentration in treatment plant water of 0.65 – 0.75 mg/L
END RESULT: When the San Juan-Chama plant is producing water, fluoride levels for customers will average 0.7 mg/L
During periods when the San Juan-Chama plant is offline (e.g., maintenance, inadequate river flows), groundwater with naturally occurring fluoride averaging 0.5 mg/L will be distributed to customers. Regardless, fluoride levels will always remain below the EPA secondary maximum contaminant level of 2.0 mg/L
COSTS: One-time capital expenditure for new facilities estimated at $260,000; annual operation and maintenance costs estimated at $270,000/year
TIMELINE: Contingent on date of final Board approval.