Water bills, fluoride and city government; what do these three things have in common? More than you would think.

There are a few important things happening in our local city governments. Licking is raising the water rates, amounting to a five percent increase to the average homeowner (expect a bill in the amount $11.20 per month for 1,000 gallons). The rate increase is necessary to make repairs to our existing infrastructure, including water distribution improvements, emergency back up and protection, replacing the school water tower that is too low to be effective, and placement of a new well. These improvements will ensure an uninterrupted supply of pure drinking water in the years to come, with built-in back up systems.

I’m personally proud of Licking, and Salem as well, where this column also appears. I’m proud because the city councils of these two towns have steadfastly resisted the addition of hydrofluorosilicic acid (?F6H2Si) to the municipal water supply. That would appear to be the obvious choice, but many communities have succumbed to the pressure to fluoridate for various reasons. For one, ?F6H2Si (pH 1.2 – stomach acid territory) has been touted to be the same as natural calcium fluoride CaF2, found in nature with a slightly alkaline pH of 7.3.

What difference does a molecule make? A lot. CaF2 is classified as “not dangerous,” although reacting it with sulfuric acid produces toxic hydrofluoric acid. Much of the hydrofluorosilicic acid added to local drinking water supplies is industrial waste, found in the scrubbers of aluminum factories.

In the past two years, the rules have changed on getting hydrofluorosilicic acid, aka “fluoride,” out of your drinking water. Prior to passage of HB1717, “the fluoride protection bill,” the chemical could be removed overnight with just a vote from the City Council. Since the bill has passed, towns must give 90 days notice to the DNR, enabling them to bring significant pressure to bear on the decision. (Note that no such requirement is needed if you want to add fluoride.) A few years ago, the town of Sullivan was offered $25,000 to keep F6H2Si in their water, an offer they wisely declined.

Two clusters of people in Texas County are still receiving hydrofluorosilicic acid in their drinking water, the cities of Houston and Cabool. Houston will be having a public hearing on the issue at 5:30 p.m., prior to the City Council meeting, April 16. In order to assist the public regarding the science of fluoridation, The Licking News has reached out to the pre-eminent authority on the issue, Dr. Paul Connett.

Dr. Connett is a graduate of Cambridge University and holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Dartmouth College. From 1983, until he retired in May 2006, Paul taught chemistry at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where he specialized in Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology. He has been involved in researching fluoride’s toxicity and the fluoridation debate for 22 years, and helped found the Fluoride Action Network. He has given invited presentations on the dangers of fluoridation in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the UK and the US. This has included invited presentations in 2003 to both the US EPA and the US National Research Council.

Dr. Connett has agreed to come to Texas County for the important public meeting on water fluoridation. Public conferences are being arranged for April 14 and 15, enabling citizens to be fully informed prior to the public meeting. Everyone is invited to attend. Details will be published in the upcoming weeks.

*Original article online at http://www.thelickingnews.com/community-news/water-bills-fluoride-and-city-government-pure-water-is-priceless/