A Lismore City councillor says there are lingering concerns about the reliability and effectiveness of the region’s fluoride dosing plants.
Vanessa Ekins is one of Lismore’s two Rous Water representatives.
She said the four dosing plants commissioned in September last year have been plagued by equipment failure.
Cr Ekins said she supported calls by anti-fluoride campaigners to have them shut down while the situation is investigated.
“Well it was supposed to be tested before it was set up and going,” she said.
“We’re paying $300,000 a year for this chemical to be put in our water supply, which is a complete waste of money.
“If we allocated that $300,000 a year to adequate dental services for our community, we’d be in a much better position.
“There have been technical breakdowns and parts of the [Corndale] plant having to be replaced, which puts into question the amount of fluoride we’ve actually been dosed with.
“The concentration that goes into the water supply is really crucial.
“It’s supposed to be only one milligram per litre, and we don’t know how much we’ve been getting.”
Rous Water’s Wayne Franklin said the dosing plants were not operating at full capacity because some flaws in the system were still being addressed.
He said measures were in place to ensure they shut down if a problem occurred.
“We have online fluoride analysers at each plant,” Mr Franklin said.
“Those online analysers measure the concentration of fluoride in the water that will flow to consumers, and shut the plant down before it becomes an alarm level.
“Just there before Christmas we had a teleconference with the Health Department and the Office of Water to talk through how our plants are going, what sort of teething issues we’re having bringing the plants up to full capacity.
“The comment we got back is that the Health Department is more than happy with the way we’re proceeding.”