Water without fluoride could be an option for Hamiltonians who do not want the substance in their water supply.
A water cooler-type facility has been suggested by Hamilton City Council, at a cost of $10,00-$15,000 each and $3000 per year operating cost. Council has set a budget of $60,000 for installation and $5000 per year operating budget.
The option was brought forward at the 10-Year Plan final deliberations. Council received 74 submissions requesting a non-fluoridated water source.
Councillor Garry Mallett said there is a large part of Hamilton’s population who had issues with fluoride, but councillor Leo Tooman was concerned how many times council would revisit the issue. “Let’s make a decision and move on,” said Mr Tooman.
Councillor Margaret Forsyth supported the option based on freedom of choice.
“This could be any other matter, but the focus for me is freedom of choice. All people are entitled to basic freedoms and rights. If there is that much of a demand for non fluoridated water, we may find ourselves back at the table.”
If staff are not able to keep the cost under the budget set, the project will not go ahead.
The water cooler-type option could be located around the city as long as power, water and wastewater facilities were available. Hamilton City Council general manager for infrastructure, Chris Allen said an area covered by CCTV would be preferred for safety.
Councillor Rob Pascoe was concerned about potential queues but council staff said judging by other council’s experiences, people were likely to turn up with 20L containers.
Staff are to report back to council with options within the budget, following consultation with groups requesting the facility.
Council voted nine for, two against.