The city will not change the addition of fluoride to its water supply, an issue Ardis Johnson raised Thursday during the Jamestown Public Works Committee meeting.
Johnson said the city should not add fluoride to the water.
“People shouldn’t have to have it in their water if they don’t want it,” Johnson said.
Other sources of fluoride are available for those who want it, she told City Council members. She also said fluoride is poisoning groundwater.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance found in most water supplies, including Jamestown’s, said Jack Knudson, Jamestown water plant supervisor. He said as far as he knows, all the major cities in North Dakota add fluoride to their water.
A motion to table the issue until the June meeting to permit further study was defeated 3-2. Mayor Charlie Kourajian and Councilman Jim Matthiesen voted to table the issue, with Councilmen John Grabinger, Jeff Wilhelm and Dwaine Heinrich against the motion.
A motion to continue adding fluoride to the water passed unanimously.
“I don’t feel prepared,” Matthiesen said. “Is there any hurry on this?”
“We’ve had this information 30 days,” Wilhelm said, questioning why it needed further study.
“It would be a huge mistake to do away with the fluoride treatment,” Grabinger said. He said he talked to a dentist who told him the rate of tooth decay in children dropped 50 percent in the six years following the introduction of fluoride into the water supply.
Jamestown’s water supply averages about 0.4 parts per million of naturally occurring fluoride, Knudson said. After processing the water supplied to residents contains an average of 1.3 parts per million of fluoride, well within state guidelines.
The city has been adding fluoride to its water since 1956.