Should Kingston Add Fluoride to our Drinking Water?
This month marks the beginning of an important discussion for our community: should we add fluoride to our municipal water? Local public health officials are strong advocates for adding fluoride to water as a way to prevent tooth decay. A number of national and international health and dental organizations also support adding fluoride to drinking water as a way to promote dental health. Right now there are many cities in Ontario that add fluoride to their water supply including Ottawa, Toronto, Belleville and Brockville.
At the same time, adding fluoride comes with a cost. Utilities Kingston estimates it would require between $2-3 million in upgrades to our existing water treatment facilities, and would cost between $100-$300K per year to operate and maintain fluoride in our municipal water system. These costs translate into a 2.4% increase in the average monthly water bill, or about an extra $1 a month per customer.
I realize there are strong views on both sides of this issue, so it’s important for me and the other City Councillors to hear your opinion before deciding whether or not to proceed with fluoridating our drinking water. We’ve already received lots of input from residents on the City’s online survey and at two recent open houses, but if you haven’t had the chance to make your voice heard, you can still reach out to myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) and other members of council directly. We will be deliberating on whether or not to proceed with fluoridation at a special council meeting on April 28.