March 27, 1996
PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS RECOGNIZED FOR MAINTAINING FLUORIDE LEVELS
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- The administrators of 300 public water systems have been recognized for maintaining required levels of fluoride last year in their drinking water.
"When fluoride levels in public water supplies meet state standards, everyone benefits through improved oral health," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state director of public health. "The water system administrators being recognized today are to be commended for their efforts to help with their communities' dental health care."
The average cost of fluoridating a community water supply is 20 to 30 cents per person -- while studies have shown for every dollar spent on fluoridation, as much as $56 is saved in dental care costs.
Mary Gade, director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, said, "Maintaining proper fluoride levels in community water supplies has been shown to be an efficient, cost effective way to enhance oral health among children. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is pleased to work in partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide this beneficial public service, and to recognize the dedication of those water supply owners whose day-to-day efforts are the key to the program's success."
Ten water systems have earned this commendation for at least five consecutive years and two for at least 10 consecutive years. Another 93 communities received honorable mentions for reaching fluoridation standards for 11 of 12 months during 1995.
There are 946 community water systems in Illinois that are eligible for this award annually. Although fluoride can be found naturally in water, in many communities the levels fluctuate and do not meet required standards. When this occurs, fluoride must be added to the water. Communities are required to send water samples to a certified lab on a monthly basis to monitor the fluoride levels.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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