Keizer city council member Rich Walsh would rather not have fluoridated city water.
At tonight’s City Council meeting, he aims to reach a compromise with pro-fluoridation advocates.
But discussion has been tabled on whether to fluoridate city water, a divisive issue that last month resulted in one of the most crowded and controversial City Council work sessions in recent years.
Walsh is bringing before the rest of City Council an administrative action to halt an in-progress effort to outfit all of the city’s pump stations with fluoride injection systems.
Because not all pumps have fluoride injection systems, fluoride levels are not met during peak flow season, a 75-day period in the summer. So, more fluoride injection systems are needed to keep fluoride-water ratios at recommended levels.
Walsh said allowing levels to dip down would be a good solution because the main argument for fluoridating water is that it prevents cavities, but much of the water used in the summer pours on lawns and cars.
City Councilor David McKane said that expenses on the pumps were identified in 2002, so the money is available.
“To keep the optimal level of fluoride, we need to have these additional fluoride injection pumps,” McKane said.
Keizer, which imports its fluoride from Japan, regularly tests its water and keeps it within the safe range — averaging about 1 part per million, according to city documents.
Keizer, which began fluoridating its water in 1982, spends about $50,000 per year on the practice. The city plans to add several systems in coming years that would raise the figure to about $80,000 annually.
The city water system has 10 pump stations with fluoridation capability and has plans to extend the capability to its five other pump stations during the next four years, Director of Public Works Rob Kissler said. To do so would cost about $9,600 per station, or $48,000 for all five stations…