Fluoride Action Network

Safety fears halt fluoridation

Source: Deseret News | December 15th, 2004 | By Doug Smeath
Location: United States, Utah

RIVERTON — As of today, most residents here will not be getting fluoride in their drinking water — at least not for a while.

Despite a countywide vote that mandated water systems fluoridate their drinking water, Riverton’s water system will stop fluoridating water going to customers east of 4800 West because of safety concerns for the water system’s employees.

Since the city began adding hydrofluorosilicic acid to the water coming from its wells in late summer, the plastic piping and copper joints have begun to corrode, water system director Scott Hill said.

Paul Ashton, an attorney representing the city’s water system on the fluoride issue, told the City Council on Tuesday the leaking chemicals and gases posed safety issues for water employees and liability issues for the city.

“Until Scott can determine his employees are safe, he should not put fluoride in the water,” Ashton told the council. “We can deal with the health authorities when we need to.”

Hill has already stopped adding fluoride to the well water, but because the city has a contract with the Jordan Valley Conservancy District for the district to provide water west of 4800 West, district water has been going to the rest of the city. But Hill said today he will start using city well water — without fluoride — east of 4800 West until, and unless, he is ordered by a judge to do otherwise.

The City Council did not take a vote on the issue Tuesday, though the matter will be on the agenda for a later meeting as council members consider possible solutions.