Water Fluoridation: Be informed – then vote!
The District of Sparwood is seeking electoral assent on whether or not to continue adding fluoride to the District’s water system as part of Sparwood’s November 15, 2014 Municipal Election. All eligible voters are encouraged to participate.
The question will ask: “Are you in favour of Council adopting Bylaw 1145, “Cease Fluoridation Bylaw 1145, 2014” which authorizes removal of fluoride from the municipal water supply effective January 1, 2015?”
The question will be part of the official ballot providing you an opportunity to choose either “yes” or “no”. A yes vote means you want to eliminate fluoride from our water, while a no vote means continuing to add it.
Water Fluoridation in Sparwood
The decision to add fluoride to Sparwood’s water system was by referendum in 1966 and has been a bylaw since then. At that time, fluoride was gaining recognition worldwide as a cost-effective way to reduce cavities. Many North American communities began adding fluoride to water systems throughout the 1940’s to 1960’s. Since then, fluoride has been added to many food and oral hygiene products and is widely available for purchase.
The District’s Public Works Department adds fluoride to the water system in the form of hydrofluorosilicic acid. A small metering pump at Pumphouse #1 on Matevic Road and Pumphouse #3 on Pine Avenue transfers the hydrofluorosilicic acid from a storage tank to the potable water stream for a concentration of 0.7 mg/l (or ppm), a standard set by Health Canada’s guidelines of between 0.7 mg/l (optimal) and 1.5 mg/l (maximum).
Sparwood is one of seven communities in the Province, accounting for just over 3% of the BC population, which adds fluoride to its water supply.
As a result of the 1966 Bylaw, District Council had two options to determine the future of fluoridation in Sparwood – seek electoral assent or apply for Ministerial approval to repeal the current bylaw, and by doing so accept whatever terms or conditions the Minister considers appropriate.
On February 17, 2014, District Council voted in favour of asking residents themselves to make a decision on this issue by seeking electoral assent in November.