Striving to end the fluoridation of Marin water, community members plan to present a petition with more than 2,000 signatures at the Tuesday night Marin Municipal Water District Board meeting.

The petition, posted on, was started by Woodacre resident Jacob Barnett.

It argues that adding fluoride to water has significant and adverse health effects, including risks to the brain, thyroid gland, bones and those with kidney disease. You can read the entire petition here on the website.

California communities that have rejected water fluoridation include Napa, Watsonville, Santa Cruz, Suisun City and Davis, according to the petition.

The Marin Municipal Water District, which serves central and southern Marin residents, posted information to its website about the topic. Water fluoridation in Marin began in December 1973 after a voter-initiated ballot measure was passed.

The district doesn’t have the authority to stop fluoridating because it can’t override a public vote, according to the website. Instead, a public vote is required to stop the fluoridation, although statewide legislation on the topic also creates some hurdles, according to MMWD website.

Subsequent state legislation on water fluoridation also has a bearing on this issue. State Assembly Bill 733, which became law in 1995, requires water systems in California that have 10,000 or more service connections to fluoridate the water. The law does exempt water systems from this requirement if they do not have funds from outside sources to pay for the costs of fluoridation. Under the statute, “outside sources” are defined as sources other than the system’s ratepayers, shareholders, local taxpayers, bondholders or any fees or charges levied by the water systems.

Annually MMWD receives about $1 million in rental income from antenna site and property leases. This income qualifies as an “outside source.” A careful legal analysis shows that even if there were a ballot measure within MMWD’s service area to overturn the 1978 fluoridation ballot measure, there is a strong argument and likelihood that the district would still be required to fluoridate the water supply because:

  • MMWD has more than 10,000 service connections; and
  • MMWD has outside income to pay the annual costs of fluoridation.”

What’s your reaction? Are you OK with fluoride being put in your drinking water? Tell us in the comments!