EAGLE – Eagle area residents will do more than vote for village board members during the general election on Nov. 4. They will also decide whether or not to prohibit the addition of fluoride to the village’s water system.
Voters will either vote “yes” to prohibit fluoride from the water system or vote “no” against the prohibition and allow fluoride into the water system.
State statute is requiring any village with a population of 1,000 or more to add fluoride to its water system. However, statute allows voters to adopt an ordinance before June 1, 2010 to prohibit the addition of fluoride.
“What they’re shooting for is .1 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride in the water,” Gayle Schukei, Village of Eagle water/sewer operator, said.
Schukei added that the maximum amount of fluoride that can be in drinking water is 2 ppm, and that the main reason for adding fluoride is to help maintain healthy teeth.
However, the village of 1,105 people already has some fluoride added into its water system.
According to Schukei, the village currently has .4 ppm of fluoride in its water system.
Village Clerk Donna Stevens said because the village already has more than what the state is trying to require that Eagle wouldn’t benefit from allowing more fluoride into the water system.
“It’s already higher than what they want,” Stevens said. “So, we don’t really need to add it.”
If the voters decide they do want to add more fluoride, the cost of doing so would be passed on to them.
“I hope people realize that it would likely increase their water bill,” Stevens said. “We haven’t figured out how much it would go up. I would bet a good $5, because we would have to recover costs.”
She added that it would cost about $23,000 to add more fluoride to the entire water system. That cost does not include equipment or engineering expenses.
Stevens said she has not heard any comment from residents about the resolution that they will vote on. She added that the vote on whether or not to add additional fluoride to the water system has nothing to do with the village’s water quality.