Utility director makes the decision after hearing input from advisory group
City officials will increase the amount of fluorine added to the city’s water by nearly 30 percent in the coming weeks, according to a release issued late Monday from Loveland’s Water and Power Department.
The fluoridation of city water had come under scrutiny after a resident noted it had been removed for more than two years because of maintenance at the water treatment plant. When fluoride supplementation resumed in 2013, it was at a lower level than when the plant went into maintenance.
In the statement issued Monday, department spokeswoman Gretchen Stanford said Water and Power Director Steve Adams chose to increase the fluoridation rate of Loveland water from 0.7 milligrams per liter to 0.9 milligrams per liter, a 28.6 percent increase, but not to the original levels before 2010.
Costs of the increased supplementation were not disclosed by the department.
In late September, members of the Loveland Utilities Commission took public testimony, both written and verbal, on the desired level of fluoridation in city water. In October, members recommended the city keep its fluoridation, but their decision was not binding.
“(Adams’) decision is based on information provided to the Loveland Utilities Commission from local health and dental authorities, including the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and public comments,” Stanford said in the release.
Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other agencies recommend fluoridation levels between 0.7 and 1.2 milligrams per liter based on the average air temperatures of the site. Loveland is in the 0.9 milligram per liter area. Fluoride in municipal water supplies is linked to decreases in tooth decay and other dental problems.
The ruling appears to be consistent with a Loveland City Council directive from 1952 that required the city to maintain fluoridation “to proper amounts as recommended by health and dental authorities.”
Loveland is not the only community in Larimer County to have discussions about its level of fluoridation.
In 2005, Fort Collins voters had to decide whether to eliminate fluoridation altogether, based on some reports that link the element with health problems. However, that vote failed on a roughly 2-1 margin on 30,000 votes cast.