Fluoride Action Network

Fairview: Broken pipes, seized pumps, what next?

Source: The Fairview Post | January 23rd, 2013 | By Chris Eakin
Location: Canada, Alberta

The recent broken pipe was not the only problem the water treatment plant had to deal with last week. Seized river pumps and problematic balance valves contributed to their headaches.

Director of Public Works Garry Leathem reported to council on the recent water break. He explained the water treatment plant had been down for 12 hours before the water break occurred. When the line broke, because it is a trunk line the town lost 400,000 gallons from the treated reservoir. The old pipe was concrete and the cracked and broken portion has been replaced with PVC pipe.

… Preparations for planned upgrades to the water treatment plan are ongoing.

On top of this, there were problems with fluoridation. The incoming water had a higher than normal level of natural fluoride and the computer controlling the fluoride injection couldn’t cope with the low level needed. A programmer has been contacted who will adjust the computer so it can cope but the fluoride injection had to be shut down and Environment informed.

The discussion of the fluoridation system lead CAO Larry Davidson to bring up the possibility of a public forum on the pros and cons of fluoridating water. Council had discussed doing something but it hadn’t been made a priority. Council indicated they were in favour of a public forum with speakers both pro and con. CAO Davidson asked what the next step would be after that – whether council would make the decision themselves or put it to a plebiscite? Director of Legislative Services Monika Ralston said that as returning officer she could see the plebiscite raising a lot of interest in the coming election and would give candidates a platform to stand on.

Council agreed the forum should address not only the pros and cons of fluoride treatment but also the challenges faced by the water treatment staff in keeping fluoride levels inside the parameters set by Environment and the costs of doing that.