AMAWALK, N.Y. – A four-year-old mechanical issue has shut down Yorktown’s supply of fluoridated drinking water.
Equipment problems halted water fluoridation last week and were expected to keep the cavity-fighting chemical out of the water supply until early 2019, the Northern Westchester Joint Water Works said in a statement.
In the meantime, residents generally—and especially the parents of young children—are being urged to consider fluoride supplements or other steps to offset loss of the chemical protection.
Dr. Carl H. Tegtmeier of Mount Kisco, an outspoken advocate of fluoridation, said babies and children benefit dramatically from early application. “As the teeth form in their jaws, the fluoride is incorporated into the enamel and it makes it much less susceptible to cavities,” he said.
“If they’re not getting fluoride for a couple of years, it will show up in their getting more cavities,” said Tegtmeier, who is chairman of the five-county 9th District Dental Association’s Dental Health Committee.
The Northern Westchester Joint Water Works, established in 1995, serves Somers, Yorktown, Cortlandt and the Montrose Improvement District. Among other things, it treats drinking water with fluoride, optimally at a ratio of 0.7 parts per million gallons of tap water.
The fluoridation plant serving about a third of Yorktown and all of Somers—the Amawalk Water Treatment Facility—does not have a mechanical problem. But a second Water Works plant—the Catskill Water Treatment Facility in Cortlandt, which provides the other two-thirds of Yorktown’s tap water—has been having problems for almost four years.