Atmore recognized for fluoride quality

Published 9:18 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
The Alabama Department of Health announced that Atmore was one of 73 water systems in the state to receive a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The award recognizes those communities that maintained a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water throughout 2007. According to CDC’s Water Fluoridation Reporting System, Alabama has 121 public water systems that provide adjusted fluoride to their water supplies.
Utilities Board manager Tom Wolfe said Atmore has added fluoride to its water since the 70s.
John Roley, water superintendent for the city of Atmore, said the reason Atmore was not recognized sooner was because the health department was mistakenly testing Canoe’s water that does not have the added fluoride.
Wolfe said the city adds fluoride at a cost of around $3,000 dollars a month and does so not because it is a law, but because of its health benefits for citizens.
The CDC recognized community water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century. CDC recommends water fluoridation as a safe, effective and inexpensive method of preventing decay; every $1 invested in fluoridation saves approximately $38 in costs for dental treatment. In addition, studies have shown that tooth decay is prevented among all age groups, not just children.
Roley added that not all towns are fortunate to have fluoride added to their water.
According to Roley, Atmore uses 2,000,000 gallons of water a day, which means it takes 16.6 pounds of fluoride a day to treat the water.

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