PARRY SOUND – It’s done.

By the end of the day fluoride in the Town of Parry Sound’s water supply will be no more.

Tuesday night the town passed a bylaw to remove the chemical from the water, as did McDougall Township, Wednesday evening.

Peter Brown, town director of public works met with his staff at the Tony Agnello Water Filtration Plant at 7:30 a.m. to discuss what needs to happen.

“Staff know what they are supposed to do, but they won’t do it without me being down there to give them the green light,” he said. “My goal is to have it turned off today, by about 1 p.m.”

To turn off the fluoride, Brown said it really is just a matter of flipping a switch.

“And then we remove the alarm from our system, because if there was an issue with the fluoride there would be an alarm so that an operator would be called out. So that will be shut off as well,” Brown said. “After council approved the bylaw Tuesday night we still had to wait for McDougall council to approve their bylaw, which I believe was Wednesday night. We’re just waiting for that piece of paper and what I’ve been doing now is starting the process to notify the Ministry of Health as well as the Ministry of the Environment about the discontinuation of fluoridation at the Tony Agnello Water Filtration Plant. I’ve spoken to the Ministry of the Environment and understand what needs to be done from their end and I received the protocol from the Health Unit at 4:19 p.m. (Thursday) and I’m just processing that now and letting them know what they need to know.”

The move to discontinue fluoridation comes after an eight-month battle by Parry Sounders for Progressive Water Management that began in June 2015 after the town agreed to keep the chemical in its water.

In September of 2015, Brown recommended the town spend $250,000 in upgrades to the plant to ensure the safety of staff that dispenses fluoride into the water system.

By November 2015, the group suggested a referendum to let Parry Sound and McDougall residents decide if they wanted their water fluoridated.

McDougall Township has been purchasing water from the town since 2007.

If Town of Parry Sound council chose not to bring the issue back to the table, a referendum at a cost of $19,000 plus staff time would have been held if 10 per cent of both Parry Sound and McDougall’s electorate signed a petition wanting fluoride removed.

In January, members of the group headed out on foot, canvassing the streets of Parry Sound soliciting signatures in support of removing fluoride.More than 90 per cent of those polled in Parry Sound wanted the chemical out, while surveys sent out to McDougall residents showed that 87 respondents wanted fluoride out, and 13 wanted to keep the water fluoridated.

– See Wednesday’s North Star for the full story.

*Original article online at