Fluoride Action Network

Option to vote on removing fluoride from Beaumont’s water drinking supply won’t be on May’s ballot.

12 News Now | February 14, 2023 | By Lupita Villarreal
Posted on February 14th, 2023
Location: United States, Texas

BEAUMONT, Texas — A Beaumont City Councilman took his concerns over fluoride in the city’s water drinking supply to the rest of city council Tuesday.

Councilman Mike Getz revealed that he believes voters should decide whether the city continues to add the mineral to the drinking water.

Getz says many people in his ward feel the same way, although they didn’t show up to Tuesday’s meeting.

“So, it was just kind of a one-sided discussion. The other side that’s wants to take fluoride out of the water. They need to do a better job at getting their message across and the reasons why,” Getz said.

Beaumont City Council members, residents and health professionals had a healthy debate about fluoride.

Fluoride is a mineral that can’t be seen, but flows continuously through the pipes of Beaumont residents.

“Fluoride can be in a water supply naturally from the rock formation underground so those wells naturally have a level of fluoride and then we add fluoride at the surface water treatment plant,” said Beaumont Public Works Director Bart Bartkowiak.

Beaumont has a fluoride level of .6, which is just below the Environment Protection Agency’s recommended level of .7.

These levels are similar to cities like Wichita Falls and Abilene, but Bartkowiak admits, fluoride levels vary citywide.

“The line goes from about where the Willard Library is at a slight angle down to about were the Eleganté is and so if you draw a line north of that is predominately, well, water in the middle is a mix and then as you go towards the river its surface water,” Bartkowiak said.

Beaumont City Councilman Audwin Samuel believes to deny one area of the city to not have fluoride, while other parts have it naturally, would be unfair.

Beaumont Dentist Harrison Luke addressed the council Tuesday, offering his support for for fluoride.

People in the audience agreed with Luke.

“Fluoride has been used for the past 100 years and I see no reason to change if we left it up to the citizens, we’ll have chaos,” resident Kenneth Earls said.

The city started adding fluoride in the 1970’s.

Getz made the motion Tuesday to add the removal of fluoride from the city’s water drinking supply on the May ballot, but no one seconded it.

So for now, the issue appears to be a dead end.

“If there’s a big movement for the city to take fluoride out two years from now, we can come back at the next municipal election,” Getz said.

*Original full-text article online at: https://www.12newsnow.com/article/news/local/city-of-beaumont-fluoride-water-drinking-supply/502-c9db1401-513c-4907-801c-89d44dae79b8