Saskatoon city water going without flouride

April 16, 2012 - 12:59pm Updated: April 16, 2012 - 2:44pm
Water treatment plant, courtesy of the City of Saskatoon
Water treatment plant, courtesy of the City of Saskatoon

Saskatoon's drinking water is missing a controversial chemical after the city shut off its fluoridation system in December.

The equipment had to be used for other chemicals like lime and potassium permanganate, which take priority over fluoride, said Reid Corbett, manager of Saskatoon's water and wastewater treatment branch.

"Some people have said that we are waiting for equipment. No, we got the equipment, there's just some instrumentation and control issues that have to be addressed before we feel confident enough to turn the fluoridation system back on," Corbett said.

"With fluoridation, we certainly don't want to be over feeding it."

He admitted the public should have been notified when the fluoride was shut off in December.

"It was an oversight on our part. I think at the time it wasn't expected to be as long a tem as a shut down as it was," Corbett said, adding the fluoridation system should be operating by the end of the month.

Initially, the public was told the system would be turned off for approximately two months starting in March 2011.

According to Corbett, it was operating sporadically until it was shut off in December.

The city says fluoride is added to drinking water to reduce tooth decay, but some groups oppose it.

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