A majority of Gloucester voters want the city to keep adding fluoride to its water system.
By a count of 5,255 votes to 2,813, city residents who went to the polls Tuesday answered yes to the ballot’s only referendum question, a nonbinding poll asking “shall the public water supply for domestic use in the city of Gloucester continued to be fluoridated?”
The question serves only as advisory for the City Council and newly elected mayor if they were to consider an further action on the issue.
Dr. Richard Sagall, who heads the city’s Board of Health and backed continued fluoridation, and members of the Cape Ann Fluoride Action Network — who sought to end the addition of supplemental fluoride to the water supply — had both noted that the question referred only to the city’s practice of boosting the fluoride in the water from a naturally occurring average of 0.2 parts per million to 0.7 ppm. It did not call for removing all of the fluoride, a project that could cost up to $4 million.
The vote makes Gloucester the second Cape Ann community to tackle the issue of fluoridation this year. Voters in Rockport had also stood by their town’s practice of adding fluoride to its water at a referendum that was part of that community’s elections in May.
See election results