IT’S four months late, but in a week or so the water Warwick and Stanthorpe residents drink, wash and water their gardens with will contain fluoride.
The State Government roll-out was introduced as a scheme to improve dental care for young people.
While supporters say it’s vital for dental health, those against believe it’s mass medication without consultation.
Either way, on Monday council officers will start adding fluoride to the two main towns’ water supplies.
Principal engineer of water and sewerage Jim Llewellyn said it would take at least three days after that to reach reservoirs.
“All of the systems must be proved to be fully operational and calibrated and the operational procedures in place before the fluoride will be dosed continuously,” Mr Llewellyn said.
“Because there is at least three days of clear water in the various reservoirs around town it will be some days after the addition of fluoride commences that the fluoride will reach the extremities of the system.”
A contractor will be testing the pumps on Monday and small quantities of fluoride will be added.
All working correctly, it should reach correct levels by mid week at the treatment plant and reservoir.
That will then take three days to up to a week to issue through the full reticulated water system to the tap.
Allora and Killarney water will not be fluoridated because they have populations less than 1000.
But Southern Downs residents’ opinions are still split on the issue.
One resident contacted the Daily News yesterday to express her concern about the lack of information coming from council regarding the process.
“I’m surprised we haven’t heard more about the fluoridation of our water,” she said.
“What a waste. We will have to shower, wash our clothes and dishes, water our garden with this water, all to save some children’s teeth.”
The process was scheduled to start in December but due to the floods was put back until now.
Warwick’s Supa IGA owner John Hyslop said bottled water sales could shoot up as the fluoridated water flows from local taps.
However, some bottled water also contains fluoride since its addition was made legal in 2009.
Others may turn to rain water or filters to avoid the medication.
Local dentist and fluoride advocate Dr Mike Geisel previously told the Daily News both adults and children benefit from water fluoridation.
He said it was cost-effective, socially-equitable health care, meaning people who would normally struggle to afford dental treatment could still benefit.
People are being urged not to expect overnight results and it could take up to five years to see the benefits.