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Area towns honored for fluoride by IDPH

Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 1:47 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 2:06 p.m. CDT

Five Bureau County community water departments are among the 430 community water departments throughout Illinois honored recently for maintaining state-mandated fluoride levels during 2013.

The Princeton Water Department was honored for not only maintaining recommended fluoride levels for all 12 months of 2013, but for also being in compliance with recommended fluoride levels for the past 25 years — from 1989 through 2013.

The DePue Water Department was also honored for maintaining recommended fluoride levels for all 12 months for 2013. This is the third consecutive year for the DePue Water Department to receive this honor.

Both the Mineral Water Department and the Spring Valley Water Department also received fluoride compliance designation for all 12 months of 2013, with each department receiving the honor for the past two years.

The LaMoille Water Department received honorable mention for having maintained recommended fluoride levels for 11 out of the 12 months of 2013.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced the designations March 17 at the 2014 Illinois Section American Water Works Association Conference and Expo in Springfield.

IDPH Director LaMar Hasbrouck commended the water departments for their achievements and also commented on the importance of communities maintaining recommended fluoride levels.

“Water fluoridation can improve overall oral health for both children and adults. Studies show water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by about 25 percent over a person’s lifetime,” Hasbrouck said. “Studies also show that widespread community water fluoridation saves money for both families and the health care system. We applaud those communities that maintain levels of fluoride in their water systems and encourage them to continue their efforts.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called fluoridation one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association and the last five surgeon generals have stated water fluoridation is safe and effective, he said.

In proclaiming March 17-23 as Water and Wastewater Operators Week in Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn said 66 of the 430 honored water systems earned a commendation for meeting the state recommended fluoride levels for at least five consecutive years, with Princeton being one of the nine water departments maintaining recommended fluoride levels for at least 25 years. The LaMoille Water Department was one of 107 water systems receiving honorable mention for meeting state fluoride levels in 2013.

As reported by the IDPH, approximately 99 percent of those served by public water systems in Illinois receive the benefit of fluoridated drinking water, compared to the current national average of approximately 72 percent. Fluoride is found naturally in water, but in many communities, the amount of the mineral is too low and does not meet the required standards, the IDPH states.

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