Debate will get underway soon on whether the Eurobodalla Shire Council should introduce fluoride to local water supplies.

Public forums are planned across the area, in south-east New South Wales, over the next three months to gauge people’s reaction to the controversial measure.

Mayor Neil Mumme says the council has to weigh up the benefits of dental health against those people who are concerned that fluoride represents a potential health hazard.

He says the council wants a decision before the new water treatment plants are built.

“It is all academic until we have our water treatment plants come online,” he said.

“It is a process we are going through now is looking at when we’ll bring our treatment plant online and that’s why we are addressing the fluoridation issue because it all goes hand-in-hand.

“We are in the design concept stage of our treatment plants now, so that’s why we are addressing this issue of fluoridation to see if we make allowances as we go forward.”