Fluoride Action Network

Nowata’s Council backtracks on Fluoridation Vote

Source: Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise | E-E City Reporter
Posted on March 17th, 2002
Location: United States, Oklahoma

Questions arose concerning the status of fluoride in Bartlesville’s water supply after an initial March 4 decision by the Nowata City Council to discontinue the practice of fluoridation there.

The council quickly reversed the decision, telling citizens during a Thursday meeting, “The council apologizes for the hasty decision\ concerning the fluoride issue.”

The Nowata matter has raised questions among local citizens regarding fluoride in Bartlesville’s water.

“We do have fluoride in our water supply and there are no plans to discontinue (fluoridation),” Bartlesville Director of Public Works Mike Hall said.

“We add fluoride in the water because it strengthens teeth and bones, especially in children. It is an additive that is known to be very advantageous to people, namely children, and discontinuing it has not been a topic of discussion in Bartlesville.”

The confusion came after a city of Nowata staff member told council members and citizens that Bartlesville no longer adds fluoride to its water supply during a previous council meeting.

“He had wrong information,” Nowata City Manager Dave Neely told the Examiner-Enterprise Friday.

“He was given that information by another person, and it was wrong. In his defense, however, he has done a lot of research on fluoride and has a lot of knowledge about the issue.”

While the use of fluoride by municipalities remains somewhat controversial, Hall maintains the city of Bartlesville will continue the practice, and adds that to discontinue fluoridation requires the city to seek a variance from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

“You can’t just arbitrarily stop adding it,” he said.

Hall said fluoride is not harmful when used in acceptable levels and explained that while the maximum level permissible is four parts per million, Bartlesville feeds the water supply only one part per million, which is considered the optimum level.