Fluoride in the form of Sodium Fluoride powder will be added to the Bellingen Shire’s reticulated water supplies from today December 1.

Residents have received a letter advising of the commencement date during the past week.

That letter informed them the move was in response to the NSW Department of Health’s instructions to start dosing fluoride into the Town’s water supply and that council had recently completed construction of two fluoride plants one in Dorrigo the other in Bellingen.

The letter to residents included a fluoridation information booklet “explaining the facts behind the introduction”.

At the ordinary meeting of Council on November 24 councillors were told “in 2005 the Director General of the Department of Health gazetted the addition of fluoride to Bellingen Shire Council’s water supplies and issued an instruction to commence construction of the dosing plants.”

Council then went through the design and tender process and the dosing plants were completed in early 2010.

In July 2010 a representative from the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) visited Bellingen and Dorrigo to commission and test the dosing plants.

On 18 October 2010, Dr Clive Wright, Chief Dental Officer for NSW Health wrote to Council with a direction to commence fluoridation of Council’s water supplies.

The majority of Bellingen resident have however consistently opposed the introduction of fluoride to local water supplies with around 75 per cent voting against the move in a local plebiscite.

Council said the commencement of fluoridation followed rigorous testing by DEDDW to ensure that the plants installed were functioning correctly. and delivering the recommended dose of fluoride.