Fluoride Action Network

Smithville begins adding fluoride to city water supply

Source: WJLE Radio | January 9th, 2012 | By Dwayne Page

The Smithville water treatment plant will begin fluoridating the city’s water supply again starting Tuesday, January 10, according to Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson.

Though neither a state or federal requirement, the new liquid fluoride system was installed as part of the rehabilitation of the water plant, according to the wishes of city officials and members of the general public.

The city stopped fluoridating the water more than three years ago after the old powdered fluoride feeder system broke down..

At the April 6th, 2009 meeting, Smithville physician Dr. Steven Cooper and dentist Dr. Mitchell Tatum addressed the Smithville Mayor and Board of Aldermen asking that the fluoridation be re-activated for the benefit of the citizens.

Concerned citizen Gary Durham, who first raised the issue several weeks prior to the April 6th meeting, expressed his concern that the city never fixed the problem when it occurred and that city leaders never notified the public when the fluoride treatment had been discontinued.

At the April 20, 2009 meeting, the aldermen voted 5-0 to re-activate fluoridation of the city’s water supply.

At that meeting, Alderman Steve White made a motion that the treatment be started again, and to let the public know when, but that the city first consult with officials of Wauford Engineering Company about whether the new fluoride machines should be installed at that time or included as part of the design of the rehabilitation of the Water Treatment Plant. Tonya Sullivan, who was also Alderman at that time, requested that any needed safety equipment to support the fluoride treatment procedure also be purchased before the process is begun.

Instead of repairing the old system, city officials later decided to include a new liquid fluoride feeder system in the bid specs for the rehab of the water treatment plant. The construction bid for the overall rehab project was awarded to W&O Construction of Livingston in February 2010 and the work began in August, 2010. The rehab project is now almost completed.