March 12, 1998
PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS RECOGNIZED
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) have recognized 384 community water systems for maintaining the state required drinking water fluoride level for each month of 1997.
"The water systems being recognized are to be commended not only for meeting state fluoride requirements but, more importantly, for enhancing the oral health of the citizens they serve," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director.
Forty-eight systems have earned a fluoride commendation for at least five consecutive years, 11 for at least 10 years and one for at least 15 years. Another 86 communities received honorable mention for reaching fluoridation standards for 11 of 12 months during 1997.
"My agency joins IDPH in saluting the daily professional diligence of these water system operators in achieving optimum fluoride levels to enhance public health," said Illinois EPA director Mary Gade.
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 the most oral health benefits to the community. Currently, 950 water systems must add fluoride to their water.
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.
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.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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