Fluoride Action Network

Fluoridation stops at two water treatment plants

Wellington Scoop | Aug 1, 2023
Posted on August 1st, 2023
Location: New Zealand

Fluoride treatment has stopped working at two of Wellington’s four water treatment plants.

This morning, Wellington Water tweeted the news that

The Gear Island fluoride dosing shut down at 1:00 am this morning due to a fault with the dosing system. Contractors will be working on restoring the system today.

And yesterday, news that another fluoride facility has not been working for a week:

The fluoride facility at the Wainuiomata Treatment Plant was turned off last Tuesday for planned works. Unfortunately, we’ve had to do additional work to ensure the plant is operating at full capacity. Our team are working with urgency to resume full service.

Also today, news of more sewage being discharged into Porirua Harbour:

Our crews are fixing a leak at the Porirua wastewater treatment plant today, weather permitting. A small amount of treated but undisinfected wastewater will be discharged.

Earlier news from Wellington Water

In 2021, we stopped the fluoride facilities at the Te M?rua Water Treatment Plant in May and at the Gear Island Water Treatment Plant in November due to operational and health and safety issues, which meant we could not guarantee that we could add fluoride safely. At the time we didn’t tell anyone we did this, and we apologise for that, and the concern caused.

In March 2022, we announced that the fluoride facilities at both Te M?rua and Gear Island had been stopped but we provided people with an incorrect date for when we stopped fluoridation at the plants, which we corrected the next day. Again, we acknowledge that this falls short of the expectations of our customers and communities, and we apologise for the concern caused.

To fully understand why the fluoride facilities were turned off at the Te M?rua and Gear Island Water Treatment Plants and why our customers, community, Councils and our Board were not told of this in a timely and accurate manner, the Wellington Water Board commissioned an independent inquiry in March 2022.

The inquiry was undertaken by MartinJenkins and completed in late June 2022. The Board received and accepted all the inquiry’s recommendations in early July 2022.

In November 2022, the Board formally closed out the inquiry after all the recommendations were implemented.

Restoring fluoride in the drinking water

We have worked at pace to safely restore fluoride at both plants. To do this we constructed two new fluoride facilities at Te Marua and Gear Island and in September 2022 these facilities were operational and reliably fluoridating the drinking water within the Ministry of Health target range.

As part of this work, we are also looking at improvements to the fluoride facilities at the Waterloo and Wainuiomata Water Treatment Plants to improve the consistency and reliability of fluoride levels at these plants.

*Original full-text article online at: https://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=154138