WATSONVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Voters won’t get to decide this fall whether to fluoridate the city’s drinking water supply, according to state Department of Health Services officials.
An initiative on the fall ballot asks voters if they want the chemical added to the water supply.
But state statutes require a municipality to fluoridate its water supply if money is available, the health department said.
“It doesn’t matter if the voters pass a referendum saying they don’t want to fluoridate,” said Gary Hoffmann, head of the department’s water policy development unit.
Members of the group Watsonville Citizens for Safe Drinking Water want to prohibit the city from adding any chemical to the water supply not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
In April, the City Council accepted a nearly $1 million grant to fund the installation of fluoridation treatment equipment and cover a year of operations and maintenance costs.