Frequently Asked Questions - Fluoride
- What is Fluoride?
- Why do water providers add fluoride to their water supply?
- How is fluoride added to the water supply?
- How can I tell if I am in an area receiving fluoride?
- Why are some areas of the District not fluoridated?
- What if I don't want fluoride in my water?
- Will the District reimburse me for costs I expend to install treatment devices to remove fluoride?
- My dental care or health care provider has been giving our family fluoride supplements. Should I continue or stop using these supplements?
- Where can I find more information about fluoridation?
What is fluoride?
Fluoride comes from the element fluorine and occurs naturally in the environment. Water fluoridation is the adjustment of the natural fluoride levels to the level recommended for public health by the Washington State Administrative Code. The United States Public Health Service has conducted extensive research on fluoridation levels for public health.
Why do water providers add fluoride to their water supply?
The primary reason is that scientific research has concluded that the addition of fluoride to water supplies is an effective and inexpensive way to reduce oral disease and tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, the United States has over 50 years of practical experience with community water fluoridation.
How is fluoride added to the water supply?
The District is utilizing sodium fluoride to fluoridate the District’s water supply. Sodium fluoride comes in a granular form similar to salt. Dry sodium fluoride is poured into a drum of water, called a saturator tank, and a consistent water level is maintained. Water can only hold a certain amount of fluoride, so the water becomes saturated with the sodium fluoride. This fluoride solution is then metered into the distribution system.
How can I tell if I am in an area receiving fluoride?
Why are some areas of the District not fluoridated?
The District shares a storage tank with Northeast Sammamish Sewer & Water District (NESSWD). The NESSWD does not fluoridate their supply, so fluoride will not be added to the water supplied to the area that utilizes the shared tank.
What if I don't want fluoride in my water?
We realize that not all of our customers want fluoride in their water for a variety of reasons. The District has received a consultant’s report entitled “An Evaluation of Fluoride Removal Technologies for District Customers” which includes information about various strategies for fluoride removal, including comparisons of Point of Use (POU) and Point of Entry (POE) fluoride removal devices. Click Here to view the report. You can consult this report to pursue your options to remove fluoride from your drinking water to meet your individual needs. If you choose to obtain and utilize a POU/POE device, please carefully follow all manufacturer operation and maintenance guidelines, including changing filters as necessary.
Will the District reimburse me for costs I expend to install treatment devices to remove fluoride?
The District is unable to offer reimbursement to customers whom do not want fluoride in their water and purchase treatment devices or utilize other methods to obtain non-fluoridated water. The Washington State constitution prohibits the gifting of public funds and public property and reimbursement of such costs would be considered a “gifting” of public funds.
My dental care or health care provider has been giving our family fluoride supplements. Should I continue or stop using these supplements?
You should provide your dental and health care professional with information on whether you will be getting fluoride added to the water, and let them determine the next course of action.Top
Where can I find more information about fluoridation?
District customers may obtain additional information regarding this issue from a number of sources. The Internet provides a source of information using standard search engines, although before accepting any information found on the Internet at face value, you should carefully consider the source of the information. Your review of any literature about fluoridation should include a thorough examination of the author’s background and credentials, where the research was conducted, the year the article was published, whether or not the article is specific to community water fluoridation, and the methods used to conduct the research. The public library also is a source of information. A few links to some web sites are provided on the District Website. Customers should contact their dentist or health care professional for specific information about the effects of fluoridation based on your specific health situation and that of your family members. You can find more information on fluoridation of the District’s water supply by following this link.