Fluoride Action Network

State College Borough Water Authority will cease fluoridation at the end of the month

Centre Daily Times | March 30, 2023 | BY Halie Kines
Posted on March 30th, 2023

By the end of the week, the State College Borough Water Authority will completely stop adding fluoride to its water.

The SCBWA previously estimated its last day of adding fluoride to the water would be at the end of March and a public notice confirmed that time frame. According to the notice on the SCBWA’s website, fluoridation will cease on March 31.

“It is important to note that this will in no way affect the quality of the water. The water will continue to meet all DEP drinking water regulations without the addition of fluoride,” the notice on the website states.

The SCBWA submitted its application to have the public water supply permit amended to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in October 2022, the notice states. The application requested to discontinue adding fluoride to the drinking water supply and was approved in January.

In a move that drew controversy and local health officials speaking out in opposition, the authority voted in July 2022 to end water fluoridation. Though it’s added fluoride since 1954, SCBWA is in the minority for the area, Brian Heiser, State College Borough Water Authority’s executive director previously told the CDT. In Centre County, only one other water system adds fluoride to the water, he said.

In a previous interview, SCBWA Chair Jeff Kern said the board spent a significant amount of time studying peer reviewed, scientific journal articles that were published in recent years on the topic.

“They led the board to believe that it was more appropriate for us to not deliver fluoride than to deliver fluoride through the water. And the rationale was, I think, most toothpaste and mouthwashes have fluoride in them. Most dentists give fluoride treatment to kids and adults. And, let’s face it, a whole lot of people are drinking bottled water, they’re not drinking our water anyway. They’re using it for other purposes,” Kern said. “So I don’t know how much fluoride some of those people who drink bottled water all day are getting.”

Before the SCBWA voted, the board heard from a number of local dentists and medical health professionals who advocated for fluoridation. They said for some, fluoride in the water is the only type of dental prevention people have. If fluoridation were to end, the amount of cavities will increase in some patient populations, and it will impact the young, the old and the medically compromised the most, they argued.

The executive director of Centre Volunteers in Medicine, which serves low income and uninsured patients, previously told the CDT the community is already in a dental health crisis, and this decision will make things worse. In the months since, one Centre Region municipality, Harris Township, strongly urged the SCBWA to reconsider.

During a May 21 meeting, SCBWA vice chair Rachel Brennan said there’s “no question” that fluoridated applications prevent cavities. Rather, they were looking “holistically through all the effects of the body, neurotoxicity, as well as other effects, which have mainly not come out until the past recent couple of years.”


Any customer of the State College Borough Water Authority will no longer receive fluoride in their water.

The SCBWA has an average daily use of more than 75,000 people and maintains more than 15,000 metered services and 270 miles of water mains in the State College borough, and parts of Benner, College, Harris, Halfmoon, Patton and Ferguson Townships, according to its website.

It does not serve University Park or the Penn State campus.

The College Township Water Authority has a map on its website that allows users to enter their address and see if their water comes from SCBWA, the CTWA or the Penn State University Water System. It does not account for other water systems in the area. It can be accessed at www.collegetownship.org/174/College-Township-Water-Authority-CTWA.

*Original full-text article online at: https://www.centredaily.com/news/local/community/article273742255.html