Fluoride Action Network

Mackay: Fluoride remains in the limelight

Source: Mackay Daily Mercury | May 16th, 2013 | By Andrea Davy
Location: Australia

JUST when we thought the fluoride issue had sunk below the surface, it’s managed to stick its ugly head back into the limelight – again.

Due to a mechanical failure there is no fluoride currently being added to Mackay’s water supply.

The issue is a completely different problem to the Workplace Health and Safety issue that prevented fluoride being added to the water in July last year.

Despite Mackay Regional Council (MRC) workers doing all they could to get it right, the mechanics have let them down, and residents will now have to wait at least two weeks to get their fluoride fix.

The situation might seem like deja vu for some residents, however, this time MRC chose to promptly inform the public.

Councillors were left red faced in February when it was revealed there had been no fluoride in the water for several months, during the infamous ‘fluorigate’ scandal.

MRC chief executive officer Barry Omundson admitted the situation was “embarrassing” for council but said communication channels had improved.

“I think the processes from our previous investigation, and the things we have implemented since then, have been quite good,” Mr Omundson said.

Councillors voted to flick the switch and continue to fluoridate the whole of the region’s water supply earlier this month, after local governments were given the power to decide.

But the recommissioning is off to a rocky start.

Water services director Jason Devitt said part of the problem was the equipment had been offline for nine months.

“There were a few little issues we encountered over the first few days,” he said.

“We did get a few burnt-out motors.

“But on Thursday, again we had a burnt-out motor; we went in to do the same repairs we had done previously and we had a failure of an isolation valve and that caused fluoride to fall onto the floor.”

Mr Omundson said the equipment now had to be pulled to bits and shipped to Sydney before specialists could fix the problem.