The town of Milton will begin adding fluoride to its public water system July 1 to comply with state law.
Under Senate Bill 173, which was passed in 1998, municipalities must fluoridate water supplies.
Milton’s entire municipal water system of 804 hookups will receive fluoridated water. The completed project, which began six years ago, cost $47,148. It is part of a larger $643,370 project funded by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to upgrade water mains and the treatment plant.
The town of Milton will monitor fluoride levels daily and report results to the state Division of Public Health each month, which will in turn test samples.
Other municipalities that have not fluoridated their water supplies until now include Delmar, Seaford, Dover, Middletown and New Castle.
The American Dental Association has endorsed fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay for more than 40 years.
Fluoride occurs naturally in the earth’s crust in combination with other minerals in rock and soil. Small amounts of fluoride occur naturally in all water sources, and varying amounts of the mineral are found in most foods and beverages. In Delaware, Felton, Clayton and Camden-Wyoming all have naturally occurring fluoride at optimal levels.
Most bottled water does not contain fluoride, and some home water treatments (including reverse osmosis units) remove it.
Children who drink optimally-fluoridated water on a regular basis do not need supplements, and parents of children who drink Milton’s water should discontinue fluoride supplements as of July 1, officials said.
For more information, call Milton maintenance supervisor Allen Atkins at 684-4110.