Residents of Park Hills who have not yet had an opportunity to complete a survey concerning fluoride levels in the town’s drinking water can do so at the end of the week.
Economic Developer Norm Lucas said those who would like to fill out a paper version of the questionnaire are invited to drop in at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Park Hills Senior Nutrition Center, 224 W. Main St.
Those who come out will be able to complete a survey. A representative of the Park Hills Water Department will be on hand as well to answer questions.
City leaders discussed the possibility of ending the practice of injecting fluoride into the town’s drinking water system at a work session in April and decided to look further into the issue.
A public hearing was held on the topic last month. No residents came forward during the hearing to make a comment on the issue.
Two people from out of town sent emails to the city prior to the hearing, however, with the aim of demonstrating that adding fluoride to drinking water systems is dangerous and costly and should not be done. Officials with the St. Francois County Health Center provided the city with a handout on the issue and a letter in support of continuing the practice of adding fluoride to city drinking water.
The survey includes two questions targeted at identifying residents’ thoughts on reducing the amount of fluoride added to the town’s drinking water system and altogether eliminating the practice of injecting the substance into the system.
It also asks respondents how they feel about the city continuing to spend $16,000 annually to maintain current fluoride levels.
City leaders offered residents the chance to fill out the questionnaire online via SurveyMonkey.
The online survey closed a little under a week ago, Lucas said. A total of 56 digital responses were received.
Lucas said it is too soon to provide any details on how respondents answered. He wants to tabulate the digital and paper responses together before drawing any final conclusions.
He expects that he will present the data to members of the Park Hills City Council at the July 28 work session.
The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sets the standards for public drinking water systems. Right now, the state maximum for allowable fluoride levels is four parts per million. The state recommendation is that fluoride levels fall somewhere between 0.7 and 1.2 parts per million.
Park Hills water consistently tests at one part per million. The figure takes into account the fluoride the city adds to the system.
If the city were to stop injecting the substance into the town’s water supply, the expectation is that fluoride levels would drop to between roughly 0.1 and 0.2 parts per million.
Levels still would be within the requirements set by the state, as public water supply systems do not receive violation notices from the DNR unless the water supply contains excess levels of fluoride.
For questions or more information, call Park Hills City Hall at 573-431-3577.