Citizens will be able to weigh in on a proposed plan that would once again add more fluoride to drinking water in Albuquerque.
Members of the water authority board are expected to make a final vote on a plan to spend more than $200,000 for equipment and facilities to allow the city to resume fluoridation.
Now, the debate over adding fluoride to the metro’s water is heating up again. While officials say it would prevent tooth decay, there are some who believe fluoride is a toxic chemical.
Back in the 1970’s, citizens approved the fluoridation of drinking water. In 2011, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority halted those operations as they waited for new federal fluoride level recommendations to eventually be released in 2015.
What is being voted on Wednesday night is a one-time cost of $260,000 coming from capital funds, which would pay for the construction of a new facility at the San Juan Chama Plant. Officials say it would cost $270,000 a year for operation and maintenance costs.
Officials also say it would add fluoride to the already existing levels of in the water, bringing it to .07 milligrams, the most beneficial level for residents.
“Supporters of supplemental fluoridation are concerned about the dental health in our community, particularly in underserved populations who may not be able to get to a dentist regularly. They see this as a way of helping to improve the dental health for those populations,” David Morris, Public Affairs Manager with the Water Authority said.
The proposed plan doesn’t come without controversy. The Department of Health says they’ve received opposition from people saying that fluoride causes health problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The final vote is expected to happen at Vincent E. Griego Council Chambers at 5 p.m.
It is open to public comment. If you are unable to attend, you can email comments to ABQFluoride2017@gmail.com.
*Original article online at http://krqe.com/2017/08/23/fluoride-could-be-added-to-metros-drinking-water-final-vote-tonight/