FLUORIDE will be added to Mount Isa’s water in December, becoming the final part of a Queensland Health plan to fluoridate the state.
The move comes a year later than the original December 2011 deadline after the former Mount Isa City Council stalled the process in the face of a strong anti-fluoride campaign.
Yesterday Mount Isa Water Board (MIWB) Rowena McNally said the board is working with design and project management consultants and expects to have the plant operational in time.
“Mount Isa Water Board will be working closely with Mount Isa City Council (as the board’s customer) in advising the operational status of the fluoride project,” she said.
She said residents should notice no appreciable difference to their water supply, as the fluoride compound is colourless, tasteless and odourless.
“The fluoride is added to the existing water supply prior to distribution to Mount Isa City Council, and there will be no change to existing supply characteristics eg pressure and flow.”
Ms McNally said the project will result in the installation of a new fluoride preparation, dosing and monitoring system, but it is still to be tendered and the project is largely funded by Queensland Health.
Resistance to compulsory fluoridation surfaced again recently when a far north Queensland MP called on the Premier to place a moratorium on adding fluoride to public water supplies.
Katter’s Australian Party member Shane Knuth told State Parliament some residents are worried about the cost of the process and whether it is working.
“The first is the growing body of peer reviewed, credible research, revealing … the ineffectiveness of fluoridation on dental health and the adverse health effects of fluoridation, which call in question the cost benefits analysis used to justify fluoridation of public water supplies,” he said.
“The second is the ongoing cost to ratepayers.”
In 2008, the Queensland Government introduced the Water Fluoridation Act 2008 requiring all water supplies serving more than 1000 people introduce fluoride into their water system by December 2011.
By the end of 2012, more than 90 per cent of Queenslanders will have access to fluoridated drinking water.