PORT ST. LUCIE — Residents in St. Lucie West may have the fluoride in their water removed by the end of the week.
In a quick series of votes at their Tuesday board meeting, the St. Lucie West Services District decided to shut off the fluoride treatment to the district’s 7,500 customers. They unanimously voted to have District Manager Charles Sweat shut off the chemical after making sure that doing so wouldn’t violate a county ordinance that addresses fluoride in municipal water supplies. If the district was legally allowed, Sweat said he would direct the fluoride pump to be shut off by the end of the week.
Services District Chairman Charles Altwein led the board’s discussion, saying he was “very disappointed” the district was fluoridating the water supply to St. Lucie West.
“People got up in arms (over abnormally high lead levels in St. Lucie West before) and here we’re deliberately adding a poison to our system,” Altwein said.
Anti-fluoride activist Pat Arena encouraged the board to remove the substance, which he said could cause dental problems in children.
The votes came after anti-fluoride sentiment, led by Arena, traveled throughout the Treasure Coast. Proponents have said that fluoridating the water supply lowers the incidence of tooth decay in residents.