|March 19, 2003|
PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS RECOGNIZED
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) have recognized 339 community water systems for maintaining the state mandated fluoride level in drinking water for each month in 2002.
"These communities helped Illinois maintain required fluoride levels for 99 percent of those served by public water systems," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director. "This is up from 93 percent in 2000, and much higher than the national average of 66 percent."
Of those recognized, 118 systems earned a commendation for meeting required fluoride levels for at least five consecutive years, 40 for at least 10 years, eight for at least 15 years and one for at least 20 years.
"Delivering fluoride through drinking water is an efficient, economical way to promote dental health, particularly for children," said IEPA director Renee Cipriano. "We join IDPH in congratulating water supply operators for their diligence in maintaining optimum fluoride levels for the benefit of the public."
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.
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 2002 compliance awards, click here. PDF Format, 64K
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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