The controversial debate on fluoridation of Calgary’s drinking water could have spilled onto council floor during budget deliberation, but it was immediately wiped out.
The issue is not totally dry and it could very well flow back to council before the year ends or early 2011 as a notice of motion.
Ald. Druh Farrell was inquiring about the potential cost of maintenance of the equipment that puts the chemical to the water but council told her to open up the matter at another time because it’s not budget.
Farrell said the city is expecting a $6-million maintenance bill for fluoridation equipment soon but there’s also a move to stop putting the chemical to the water.
“If we’re contemplating removing fluoride, we’re asking for the ability to remove, we need to determine that quickly before we make this capital investment of $6 million,” she said.
“There’s a new research coming out how fluoride can put some people’s health in jeopardy.”
Water fluoridation is the controlled addition of fluoride to a public water supply to reduce tooth decay.
The process costs the city $750,000 annually and is regulated by Alberta Environment, which means any change has to be approved provincially.
Ald. Andre Chabot was supportive of Farrell’s move but also agreed to have it on the table at another time.
Like Farrell, Chabot also wants an end to putting fluoride in the city’s water.
Chabot said administration had been supportive in the past to stop using the chemical.
Both Farrell and Chabot said they’re going to try and revisit the idea and see if there’s an appetite with the new council to exclude the chemical from city water.