Every time you turn on the faucet and every time you pour a glass of water in Watertown, it’s there: fluoride.

It’s intended to improve the dental health of the public, but a group of citizens have been rallying to stop the city from adding the chemical, saying it’s actually hurting people.

Anti-fluoride speaker and chemist Dr. Paul Connett spoke to the city council, arguing that ingesting fluoride may be harmful to the public.

Connett is a former professor at St. Lawrence University and is now an author of an anti-fluoride book.

Citing government and academic studies, Connett argued that ingesting fluoride added to drinking water may lower IQ scores, cause dental problems in some cases, and even cause cancer in some cases.

He says the fact that cities like Watertown have been adding fluoride to water for the past 50 years is absurd.

“Your own scientists admitted it works topically,” Connett said.

“When you’ve got topical applications readily available in a tube of toothpaste, this is irrational. It’s embarrassing,” he said.

“It’s embarrassing that these professional bodies that you’ve alluded to actually have got to the point of continuing to promote this practice.”

On the other side of the debate, the Jefferson-Lewis Dental Society sent a letter to the council voicing the positives of fluoridation.

Mike Sligar, a proponent of fluoridation who’s also the city’s water superintendent, wouldn’t comment Monday night, but said he will soon have a reply on the good fluoride does.

Connett challenged any fluoride proponent to an open debate.

The city council has final say. Members said they would keep an open mind as they look into the issue.