March 13, 1997
PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM ADMINISTRATORS HONORED
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have recognized 376 Illinois public water systems for maintaining the state required drinking water fluoride level for each month of 1996.
"The administrators of these water systems are to be commended for their efforts to improve the oral health of people in their communities," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director.
Studies have found that for every dollar spent on fluoridation as much as $56 in dental care costs are saved. Fluoridating a community water supply costs an average of 20 cents to 30 cents per person served.
"My agency joins IDPH in congratulating water system operators for their diligence in maintaining optimum fluoride levels for the benefit of the public," said Mary Gade, Illinois EPA director. "The key to the program's success is the day-to-day efforts of these operators. By maintaining proper fluoride levels in community water systems, we are able to provide an efficient, cost-effective way to enhance oral health."
Twenty-six systems have earned a fluoride commendation for at least five consecutive years, eight for at least 10 years and one for 15 years. Another 107 communities received honorable mention for reaching fluoridation standards for 11 of 12 months during 1996.
There are 946 community water systems in Illinois eligible for this annual award. While 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 to provide improved oral health benefits to the community.
System operators must send water samples to a certified lab on a monthly basis and IDPH monitors the samples to ensure the fluoride level meets state standards.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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