BARTOW – The city is nearly ready to begin fluoridating its water.
The fluoridation system is in and testing has gone without a hitch, said Ron Johnson, supervisor of the city’s water plant. The next step calls for the city to notify everyone on the water system about the change, which will take place during the next month.
“We should have the system up and running by late January or early February,” he said.
The fluoridation system will more than double the amount of fluoride in the city’s water supply.
“Fluoride naturally occurs in the city’s water, but it’s not at the levels dentists would like to see,” Johnson said. “This will bring those levels up.”
Dentists recommend a fluoride level of 0.8 parts per million. Bartow’s water has measured 0.25 to 0.4, prompting city commissioners to move ahead with plans to enhance the city’s fluoride levels.
In a presentation to the City Commission in May 2001, Dr. Daniel Haight, director of the Polk County Health Department, said fluoridation has been proven safe at 0.8 parts per million.
Studies have shown that fluoride improves dental health and makes teeth stronger in children through the age of 13.