After a very public and feisty debate last spring and a handful of new village trustees, fluoride quietly returned to Poynette’s water supply on July 9.
The new village administrator, Dan Guild, said the equipment has been available — it was just a matter of integrating the chemicals. Last July, the Poynette Village Board voted to stop adding fluoride — long considered an antidote to tooth decay — to the public water supply.
Steve Tomlinson, the village president, argued the equipment the village had was old and unreliable, and the state doesn’t require fluoride in drinking water.
In addition, then-village trustee Kevin Marquardt, chairman of the Public Works Committee, said fluoride is poison — Marquardt has since resigned from the board.
It took about three months before a new village trustee, Andy Ross, learned what the board had done and asked members to reconsider.
In January, a public hearing caused a stir for a village where most board meetings don’t draw crowds.
With dental hygienists and others pushing hard to get fluoride flowing back into the village’s water, the board approved a non-binding referendum April 7 to test public opinion.
Residents voted by a more than 2-to-1 margin Tuesday to restore fluoride to their water. Fluoride occurs naturally in combination with other minerals in soil and rocks.
Small amounts are present naturally in almost all water sources.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established drinking water standards for fluoride.
The agency does not consider short-term exposure to water containing 3 to 4 parts per million of fluoride to be harmful to human health, but acute toxicity can occur at a level of 30 ppm or more.