Through routine monitoring, Public Health Sudbury & Districts has determined that the fluoride concentrations in the water supply from the Vermillion Water Treatment Plant, operated by Vale and distributed by the City of Greater Sudbury, are below therapeutic levels for optimal oral health. The low fluoride concentration is understood to be the result of planned equipment upgrades at the plant.

There are no immediate health risks to the public. Optimal levels of fluoride are added to drinking water systems as a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay. The reduced fluoride levels mean that residents who receive their water supply from the Vermillion Water Treatment Plant are not receiving optimal amounts of fluoride through their drinking water. This includes residents of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, Copper Cliff, Little Creighton, Lively, Mikkola, Naughton, and Whitefish.

In accordance with the requirements of the Ontario Public Health Standards, Public Health Sudbury & Districts reviews drinking water quality reports for all municipal drinking water supplies in which fluoride is added and is required to inform affected residents when fluoride concentrations in their water supply fall below therapeutic levels (0.6ppm) for more than 90 consecutive days.

At this time, we anticipate this issue to be temporary. Equipment construction and commissioning are ongoing by the operator and anticipated to be completed by late November. In the interim, we will continue to monitor the situation and update the public.

Affected residents can ensure that they continue to receive adequate amounts of fluoride by brushing their teeth with fluoridated toothpaste. Residents at higher risk of tooth decay or who have any concerns about the impact of the reduced fluoride levels on their oral health, may wish to consult their family dentist regarding additional preventive measures. The use of additional products containing fluoride must be recommended by an oral health professional after an assessment of individual oral health and risk for tooth decay.

Children and seniors from low-income households may qualify for preventive oral health services offered by Public Health Sudbury & Districts. For more information about these services, please call 705.522.9200, ext. 236 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200, ext. 236).

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