The Common Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a $382,850 contract to Kinley Corp. of Allegany to renovate the wellhouse on East Riverside Drive. In addition, the council also approved a State Environmental Quality Review for the project.
At the council’s strategic planning committee meeting a week before, city DPW Director Bob Ring indicated the project would, along with other work, install water fluoridation equipment in the structure, which treats water pulled from wells along the Allegheny River for public consumption.
Most of the water later mixes with fluoridated water from the water treatment plant on Olean Creek in the city’s reservoir, but the upgrade would improve fluoridation for city residents.
Fluoridation adds fluoride to water supplies in an effort to boost tooth health — according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fluoridated water reduces cavities by 25% while being highly cost-effective, at less than a penny a gallon to treat.
In 1999, the CDC named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century because of its contribution to the large decline in cavities in the United States since its introduction in 1945.
The project is one of several planned for this summer. On Tuesday, city officials reported that a long-awaited water line and repaving project along the east end of Washington Street will begin on Monday; and the Walkable Olean Phase II project along Main Street between North Union and Front streets is also expected to begin within weeks.