FLUORIDATION of Bundaberg’s drinking water is set to go ahead, after the state government agreed to help fund the conversion.

Bundaberg Regional Council CEO Peter Byrne said the council had written to the State Government in November saying it would be unable to fund the switch because 70% of the region’s water supplies come from groundwater.

Previously, funding for fluoridation of groundwater had not been available, but state government legislation required the council to fluoridate the region’s drinking water by the end of 2012.

However, Mr Byrne said the government had now confirmed the council would be eligible for funding and the council had subsequently started to work towards the changes.

“We are in the process of getting concept designs and estimates to change our water treatment plants over,” he said.

“They are getting all this information together so we know what has to be done and a decision can be made.”

It was estimated the new infrastructure required to enable fluoridation could cost $1.4 million in November last year.

While Bundaberg has more than a year to make the changes, the process is moving much faster for North Burnett Regional Council, which has to fluoridate all water by the end of 2011.

North Burnett mayor Joy Jensen said the tender to put in the new infrastructure had been awarded.

“We expect to start work soon,” she said.

“The time flies quickly and we are aware that we will be on a schedule.”

Cr Jensen said she was pleased to see the project moving forward.

“There is amount of fluoridation which has been funded by us but it was a small amount,” she said.

Cr Jensen said the State Government would provide the majority of the money to upgrade the Mundubbera and Gayndah water treatment plants.

Only towns with a population higher than 1000 have to be upgraded to include fluoride in their water supply.