Posted 1 day ago
By PAUL MORDEN
While the fluoride in drinking water debate rages on elsewhere in Sarnia-Lambton, it’s all quiet on the Petrolia front.
The town is still adding fluoride to the water it draws from Lake Huron and treats at its plant in Bright’s Grove, before sending it through a pipeline that supplies more than 10,000 customers in central Lambton County.
Some leaders in communities that get their drinking water from the Lambton Area Water Supply System (LAWSS) plant near the Blue Water Bridge have called for an end to the system’s practice of adding fluoride.
They’ve pointed to health concerns raised by some about fluoride levels, while public health officials have supported the practice as a way to fight tooth decay.
Health Canada is currently preparing a report on the issue.
But leaders in two of the central Lambton municipalities that buy drinking water from Petrolia say they aren’t hearing concerns about fluoride from residents.
The Petrolia water plant, which received a $7.5-million update in 2005, treats drinking water for the town’s 5,222 water users, as well as just over 5,000 customers in Enniskillen Township, Oil Springs and parts of Brooke-Alvinston Township, St. Clair Township, Plympton-Wyoming and what once was Sarnia Township.
“It’s not an issue,” said Oil Springs Mayor Gord Perry. “No one has raised it. No one has expressed any concerns about it.”
Mayor Jim Burns said it’s the same in neighbouring Enniskillen Township.
Still, Petrolia operations manager Terry Blackmore said he’s preparing a report on the fluoride issue that is expected to go to Petrolia council in February.
Blackmore said the fluoride added by Petrolia averages 0.67 milligrams per litre — well below the maximum set out in the regulations the plant operates under.
Blackmore said the town tests the lake water before it’s treated, and has found it can already contain fluoride (a naturally occurring substance) at a rate of 0.2 milligrams per litre.
“Basically, our fluoride levels are the same as what they are in the (LAWSS) system,” said Petrolia Mayor John McCharles.
Any decision about the future of adding fluoride at the Petrolia plant would be made by Petrolia council, he said.
So far, its councillors haven’t expressed an opinion, McCharles said.
“I personally believe that there’s good and bad about it,” he added.
“If council were to make the decision to take fluoride out of the water, I wouldn’t oppose that.
“If they want to leave it there, I wouldn’t oppose that either.”
If town council were to consider any change, McCharles said, “It only be reasonable that we would ask our users, outside our own municipality, what their feelings were.”
(If this is such a "non-issue", then why did the journalist feel the need to even do an article on it? Obviously, there's a few people in that town that DON'T think water fluoridation is a "non-issue")