Anti-fluoride activists are calling on Rous Water to shut down its fluoride dosing plants and hold a public inquiry following a series of shutdowns.
Members of the Fluoride Free Northern Rivers group say the Corndale plant that provides fluoridated water to Lismore and Goonellabah has broken down at least twice since it was commissioned in September last year.
They say documents obtained through Freedom of Information also indicate that overdose spikes had occurred at both the Clunes and Dorroughby plants, forcing emergency shutdowns at each plant.
FFNR public officer Lisa Connell said the Corndale plant was shutdown for almost five weeks as a result of failures.
‘Over a five-day period in early October breakdowns of an inlet pump join and screw feeders caused highly concentrated fluoridated water to leak over the floor of the plant,’ she said.
‘Workers were put at extreme risk and had to wear full protection suits to clean up the water and the plant was immediately shutdown for another four to five weeks so as contractors could be found to make repairs.
‘When the plant became operational again another similar leak appeared and fluoridation was again suspended for a number of weeks.’
Ms Connell said the breakdowns being experienced at northern rivers plants were also happening at other plants in Queensland and across New South Wales.
‘For example not only are there malfunctions, the Casino plant has now broken down over ten times in the last three years.
‘Rous Water has failed it’s duty of care by not giving any public warning to residents who may have received an overdose of fluoride in their potable water supply.
‘It is only through our vigilance by water testing and obtaining information that the extent of this cover up is coming to light.’
Echonetdaily has contacted Rous Water for comment.