|March 20, 2002|
PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS RECOGNIZED
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) have recognized 327 community water systems for maintaining the state mandated fluoride level in drinking water for each month in 2001.
"Community water fluoridation is the most equitable and cost effective public health measure available to protect teeth from tooth decay and to improve oral health for both children and adults," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director. "Studies have shown that for every dollar invested in fluoridation, as much as $38 is saved in dental treatment costs."
Of those recognized, 145 systems earned a commendation for meeting required fluoride levels for at least five consecutive years, 18 for at least 10 years, seven for at least 15 years and one for at least 20 years. Another 120 communities received honorable mention for reaching fluoridation standards for 11 of 12 months during 2001.
"Delivering fluoride through drinking water is an efficient, economical way to promote dental health, particularly for children," said IEPA Director Renee Cipriano. "These water systems and their operators deserve recognition for their painstaking daily efforts to provide this protection for their communities."
Fluoride in drinking water helps to improve the quality of life through less tooth decay, reduced time lost from school and work and less money spent to restore, remove or replace decayed teeth.
Illinois maintains required fluoride levels for 93 percent of those served by public water systems. The current national average is 66 percent.
Fluoride is found naturally in water, but in many communities the amount of the mineral is too low and does not meet the required standards. When this occurs, fluoride must be added to the water to provide optimal oral health benefits to the community. Of the 1,804 water supplies in Illinois, 860 systems add fluoride to their water. The average cost to fluoridate a community water supply is about 50 cents per person per year.
System operators send water samples to a certified lab on a monthly basis for testing and IDPH monitors the sample results to ensure fluoride levels meet state standards.
To view a list of the water systems receiving 2000 compliance awards, click here. PDF Format, 64K
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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