Columbia Considers Removing Fluoride From Water - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Columbia Considers Removing Fluoride From Water

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by Nick Beres

COLUMBIA, Tenn. - The members of the Columbia Power and Water Supply Board of Public Utilities will vote later this month on whether to remove fluoride from the drinking water.

"I think of late there's been public concern about the long term impact of fluoride and is it the proper role for the municipal water supply," said Wes Kelley, executive director of Columbia Power and Water Systems.

Kelley manages the water plant, but is not on the board and does not take a side on the issue.

Fluoride has been added to the water supply in Columbia since 1960. They city currently spends about $40,000 a year on the additive.  It works out to about $2 per customer annually.

Critics question the safety of fluoride, and point to possible adverse health effects and harm to the environment.

Supporters -- including most dentists -- said fluoridation is a safe, cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay.

In recent years, other places including Lewisburg, Hohenwald and Spring Hill have stopped adding fluoride. If Columbia follows suit, it would be the largest city in middle Tennessee to do so effecting the water for nearly 30,000 customers.

The utility board will vote on whether to continue adding fluoride September 25th.  In the meantime, they are seeking public comment on the issue.

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