City councillors will debate three options for fluoridating Cornwall’s water at a meeting next week.
The options include voting to spend at least $350,000 on upgrades at the water filtration plant that will allow for the return of hydrofluorosilicic acid (the active ingredient that creates fluoride), do no repairs at all or referring the matter to the general public by way of a question at the next municipal election, an online survey or social media feedback.
While the city has policies in place that mandate fluoride in our water, the practice was suspended three years ago when health and safety concerns at the filtration plant forced municipal managers to discontinue its inclusion.
Since then councillors have booted around the issue, holding a number of meetings on the subject and hosting both proponents and critics of water fluoridation at city hall.
Regardless of the decision council makes, there is still some 15,000 litres of toxic hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) in storage at the water filtration plant that must be removed – at a cost of $43,000.
“It is imperative to remove the HFSA,”reads a report from city infrastructure manager John St. Marseille. “The HFSA is a very strong acid containing heavy metals and it must be managed accordingly. Also, with warmer weather and more humidity at the (water plant), the off-gasing potential of hazardous hydrogen fluoride is enhanced.”
Next week’s city council meeting takes place on Tuesday, following the Victoria Day long weekend.