PALESTINE — Starting April 15, Palestine’s drinking water will have an extra additive — fluoride.
Notices are being sent with city water bills alerting residents that the fluoridation will begin mid-April, according to city utilities director Robert Sedgwick. Notices also are being sent to area medical and dental offices, Palestine Regional Medical Center and offices dealing with renal care.
The amount of fluoride to be added to the city’s water system is 0.8 milligrams per liter, he said.
“(Physicians) need to know it’s being added so they can watch for it and remove it for renal care,” Sedgwick said.
Other than the notification, the system is ready to go, he said. The storage tank and necessary equipment are in place and ready for use, as is the flouride, and water department workers have been trained in handling the chemical, hydrofluosilicic acid.
The city received some of the necessary equipment from the Texas Department of Health, along with a grant which covered most of the cost of the 5,400-gallon storage tank.
“A lot of the equipment was given to us by the health department,” Sedgwick said. “We also received a $10,000 grant. That picked up most of the cost of the ($17,000) tank.”
The city council approved adding fluoride to the city’s drinking water in February 2007, but the start date was delayed by a worldwide shortage of hydrofluosilicic acid, which also is used in the computer industry, he said, noting that the city had to change distributors to obtain the chemical.
“We have it,” Sedgwick said. “We’re just waiting, to get the word out.”