New London ending fluoridation of water
City injecting anticorrosive chemicals instead
By Robert Cloud
The New London Common Council voted to end injecting fluoride into the city’s water system.
At its May 11 meeting, the council voted 9-1 to amend an ordinance to remove the fluoride requirement.
Ald. Billie Olson voted no on the motion to amend the ordinance.
Members of the Public Works Board discussed the fluoride issue at a May 3 meeting.
Jason Bessette, director of New London Utilities, told the board the state Department of Natural Resources plans to lower its threshold for lead in drinking water.
He said he did not believe New London Utilities would pass these new regulations.
To reduce metals leaching into the water, many municipalities nationwide inject polyphosphates into the water systems to reduce pipe corrosion and lower lead in the water.
New London Utilities needs to add a chemical room to each well station in order to inject the polyphosphates into the city’s water.
Bessette recommended converting the fluoride injection systems to inject the polyphosphates.
At the Public Works meeting, Olson expressed concerns about removing fluoride in the city’s water system and talked about the benefits fluoride has to teeth, especially in youth.
Bessette said the DNR does not require municipalities to inject fluoride into the city’s water system, and one well station already provides some fluoride naturally from the ground water.
If the city does not begin injecting polyphosphates into the water soon, the DNR could force New London to make expensive replacements of lead water pipes.
If that occurs, utility consumers will see drastic rate increases on their water bill.
By using the existing fluoride pumping systems to inject polyphosphates into the city’s water, the cost to the utility rate payers will be much less, Bessette said.
Board members said they did not discount the benefits of fluoride in the water system; however they thought coating pipes with phosphates to reduce lead from leaching in the water outweighs the benefits of fluoride in to the water.
Street lights approved
In other business at the May 11 meeting, the council unanimously approved installing eight new street lights in the London Acres Subdivision.
The lights will cost $6.45 per lamp per month.