DUNEDIN City Council rejects anti-fluoridation activist Olive McRae’s suggestions fluoridation equipment upgrade at Mt Grand water treatment station is being done secretively to avoid opposition.
This year, more than $50,000 will be spent replacing the treatment station’s aged fluoridation dosing equipment.
Ms McRae, who is the Dunedin representative for the New Zealand Fluoride Action Network, said she found out about the upgrade when on a recent tour of the Brinsdon Rd, Brockville, treatment station.
She said the expenditure was not itemised in the council’s annual plan and questioned why the work had not been publicly discussed.
“I don’t think they would have wanted it to come out in public, because fluoridation is so controversial,” Mc McRae said.
The money being spent on the fluoridation equipment should be spent instead on education about healthy diets and oral health care, she said.
“Fluoridation is just a bandage solution, and not a good one.
“If people were taught how to look after their teeth there would be no need for toxic waste in our water.”
Ms McRae’s suspicions were unfounded, council water production manager Gerard McCombie said.
“There is no suggestion of that,” Mr McCombie said.
“The current council policy is to fluoridate water. Our job is to implement that policy which includes keeping the equipment in going order.
The 30-year-old fluoridation equipment at Mt Grand was coming to the end of its life, he said.
Discussions were being held with suppliers to determine the cost and installation time-frame.
The replacement equipment, which had been estimated at up to $20,000, was likely to cost about $55,000.