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City Supplemental Fluoride Program on Hold Due to Equipment Issue

  • Published
  • Updated
  • by Utilities

Nov. 11, 2019--Due to an equipment issue at the City of Arvada’s Ralston Water Treatment Plant, the City is unable to provide supplemental fluoride in municipal water until approximately mid-2020.

The City’s Ralston Water Treatment Plant was designed to use a liquid form of fluoride to supplement the water. The tank storing the liquid fluoride recently began to leak. Attempted repairs to the tank have been unsuccessful. A leaking storage tank creates an unsafe environment for workers at the plant.

Once it became clear that the leaking tank could not be repaired, the City engaged an engineering firm to design a new feed system. The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) is assisting the City in expediting approval of the new feed system. The City has also notified dental practices within Arvada in order to support dentists in providing appropriate care during the fluoride outage.

The City of Arvada is committed to providing residents with safe drinking water and investing in water treatment facilities. City water quality continually meets or exceeds water quality standards. Several years of water quality reports are available on the City website. 

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element and is present in small amounts in almost all water supplies. Arvada voters approved a community fluoridation program in 1967. There are no state regulations that require community water fluoridation. There are guidelines to help communities fluoridate water at an optimal level.

Residents who have questions about their oral health during the fluoride outage are encouraged to contact their dentist. The  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children brush their teeth twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride. Parents should ask their children's dental health provider about applying dental sealants. Adults should continue to practice good dental hygiene, including brushing twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride, flossing regularly, and obtaining routine dental care. 

The City will provide updates about the status of repairs and fluoridation of the water at arvada.org/fluoride.