Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride will remain in Draper’s water

Source: The City Journals | May 29th, 2022 | By Mimi Darley Dutton
Location: United States, Utah

After two postponements, the result of the vote regarding fluoride in Draper’s water was announced by WaterPro March 17.

57% voted in favor of keeping fluoride in the water

43% voted against keeping fluoride in the water

Darrin Jensen-Peterson is CEO and General Manager of WaterPro, a position he’s held since 2009. He said WaterPro had talked in-house about bringing up the issue for a vote in 2020, but with no shareholders meeting that year due to Covid, that didn’t happen. He explained the process involved in finally putting it to vote for the shareholders in 2022, and also why there were two postponements in the process.

“The election was slated to be part of the annual shareholders meeting in March 2021 (those meetings normally happen in March every year). But because of Covid, we pushed the meeting to September 2021. At that time, we were also going to have a vote on whether to keep fluoride in the water or not. We sent out information to have the vote for 2021 in September. We got a handful of residents concerned that they felt like there was not enough information on whether to keep it in or take it out, and they wanted additional information. At that time, we decided to pull it off the ballot so we could give our residents additional information. Knowing we had our upcoming shareholders meeting in March 2022 we worked with a PR firm to get their thoughts on what would be the best way to handle this,” he said.

The firm hired by WaterPro, Wilkinson & Ferrari, has helped other water agencies and UDOT, according to Jensen-Peterson. WaterPro had some customers who felt like a portion of the initial information they’d sent out about fluoride was outdated, so the company sent out notifications to residents asking for their opinions, whether for or against. All of the information customers sent in reply, whether via email or letter to the company, was posted to the company’s website.

WaterPro also sent a mailer out to all Draper residents so that those who might not look at the website would see opinions for and against fluoridation.

Following that, every resident of Draper who owns shares of water was mailed a ballot in February 2022. They could be returned by mail, email, dropped off at the company’s office, or delivered in person at the shareholders meeting March 16. The results were tallied and announced the next day.

Jensen-Peterson explained that WaterPro has been fluoridating water for more than a decade. Prior to that, that there was a time when there was no fluoride in the water and it went for a county-by-county vote. Salt Lake County residents voted to put it in the water, so that’s when the fluoridation of Draper’s water began. “But being a private water utility, we had the right to go to our shareholders and ask them what they would like and that’s why we did it. We appreciate both sides and people’s input through the process. It went fairly smoothly.”

“At this point, we’ll continue fluoridating the water. We listened to residents, they wanted it, so we’ll continue to do it,” Jensen-Peterson said.

*Original article online at https://www.draperjournal.com/2022/05/29/401269/fluoride-will-remain-in-draper-s-water