NASHVILLE — Tennessee public utilities would have to provide notice if they stop fluoridation of their water systems under a proposal that was unanimously approved by the Senate.
The measure sponsored by Democratic Sen. Tim Barnes of Clarksville was approved 32-0 on Thursday.
Utilities would have to notify the state within 10 days of the decision and the public 30 days prior to discontinuance.
Barnes says he proposed the measure after residents in Montgomery County complained that a public utility there decided to remove fluoride from the water without notifying them.
The Cunningham Utility District discontinued adding fluoride at the East Montgomery Water Treatment Plant in 2006. Customers did not learn about it until 2007 following a Leaf-Chronicle investigation.
Fluoride is added to drinking water to help reduce tooth decay.
The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the House Public Health and Family Subcommittee.