Fluoride Action Network

When will fluoride return to Buffalo’s water?

WKBW Buffalo | May 10, 2023 | By Kristen Mirand
Posted on May 10th, 2023
Location: United States, New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — City residents have not had fluoride in their water for years. In January, a Buffalo Water Board report stated that fluoride hasn’t been in the city’s water since 2015. Months later, many are still asking when it will go back into the water.

Robert Galbraith and his family live in the city and are upset over the situation.

“It’s frustrating and it’s really sad too. I mean, it does not appear as if they care about this,” Galbraith said.

Galbraith has now joined the lawsuit against the city.

SEE ALSO: Class action lawsuit filed against city of Buffalo regarding lack of fluoride in city water

“As a parent, it’s absolutely infuriating,” he added.

As of Tuesday, the chairman of the Buffalo Water Board, OJ McFoy told 7 News’ Kristen Mirand that Buffalo Water is still aiming for the end of the year, but no other updates or timelines were provided. A spokesperson for the city also confirmed this response. In a closed meeting on Wednesday, the board went into an executive session to discuss the pending lawsuit.

While we still wait for answers, Peter Merlo, Principal Engineer for the city’s Division of Water, explained how the water treatment process works at the Colonel Ward Pumping Station. The process starts out on the lake.

“That’s our intake and that’s the current location where all the water from the City of Buffalo comes through,” Merlo explained.

The water then flows into the pumping station which is typically when fluoride would be added. Merlo then showed Mirand the wet labs.

“At this point, we can monitor the quality of water at different points in our treatment process,” he said, “So, right now what this is telling me is that the quality of the water is just absolutely fantastic.”

Merlo then explained the site’s testing room. He said if they’re making any chemical changes, they’ll test the water in lead and copper pipes to see how it reacts. This would include the process of switching over from a powder form of fluoride to a liquid form.

“We’re trying to, again, minimize any potential for something adverse,” he added.

He said the testing process usually takes about a year. But, the transition to a new form of fluoride is taking too long for Robert Corp, with Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, who is helping with the lawsuit.

“Well, now it’s May and so if we’re still going with a timeline of by the end of the year well that remains very frustrating,” Corp said.

Corp and Galbraith hope they’ll soon see a sense of urgency.

*Original full-text article online at: https://www.wkbw.com/news/local-news/the-follow-up/when-will-fluoride-return-to-buffalos-water