Under a tight deadline from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to make a decision whether to eliminate fluoride from Catasauqua municipal water or shift to a new system to keep fluoride in the borough’s water, Catasauqua Borough Council, at its workshop meeting March 7, leaned toward the latter.
Since the meeting was a workshop, no binding vote could be taken.
President Brian Bartholomew took a straw poll of council’s sentiment regarding fluoride in the water. The nonbinding poll indicated four council members desire a shift to a new system that would keep fluoride in the water and be more cost effective.
One council member polled, Paul Cmil, wants fluoride out of the borough’s water. Jill Smerdon wants to hold public meetings and let the borough residents decide if they want fluoride in their drinking water. The straw poll was a 4-1-1 result, with Councilman Cameron Smith absent. In previous meetings, Smith’s sentiment was to keep fluoride in the borough’s water.
Mayor Barbara Schlegel and Councilman Gene Schlegel weighed in on the fluoride situation, saying they had a young relative who drank well water without fluoride. During a visit to the dentist, it was discovered the child had 10 cavities because the well water lacked fluoride.
A longtime resident in the hearing of person’s present agenda item at the end of the meeting noted he is 43 years old and has never had a tooth cavity. He reported his dentist said this is because he drank Catasauqua water, which contains fluoride. He added he favors fluoride in the water.
The resident relayed that as a baby, his mother mixed his formula with Catasauqua-fluoride-containing water. She would take frozen juice concentrate and make it with the borough’s fluoride-enriched water.
He added that his teeth are perfect and, therefore, wants to see fluoride remain in Catasauqua’s water.
At a previous meeting, a resident noted to council the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all agree fluoride in drinking water is safe for kids and has had a major impact on reducing cavities for those of any age.
Borough Engineer Vanessa Nedrick informed council that to bring the borough’s fluoride system at the Catasauqua water plant up to date, it will cost about $90,000. She added a shift to a new system could cost as little as $20,000.
In other news…
The next council meeting will be 7 p.m. March 28 at the municipal complex, 90 Bridge St. It is a hybrid meeting, with both in-person and virtual options. Visit catasauqua.org for the call-in number and access codes.
*Original article online at https://www.tnonline.com/20220316/catasauqua-discusses-fluoride-in-municipal-water/