Santa Fe Irrigation District customers to receive fluoridated drinking water — temporarily

By Joe Tash
Staff Writer

A planned upgrade to a water filtration plant operated by the Santa Fe Irrigation District means that for the first time, the district’s 20,000 residents will receive fluoridated drinking water over a six-week period beginning Jan. 1.

During the treatment plant’s closure, the district will buy treated water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which adds fluoride to its drinking water supply, said Santa Fe general manager Michael Bardin.

“We need to let all our customers know — you’re going to get fluoridated water for this period of time,” said Bardin.

Although the district has briefly used treated water from Metropolitan in the past, this will be the first time that drinking water in the district’s service area — which includes Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch and Solana Beach — will be fluoridated for an extended period of time, Bardin said.

Low levels of fluoride occur naturally in water supplies; but public health officials say that adding fluoride to drinking water prevents tooth decay, especially in children. However, opposition to fluoride has also arisen, ranging from those who are concerned about possible adverse health effects, to those who consider it a form of compulsory mass medication.

“It’s very controversial,” said Bardin.

Bardin said the Santa Fe district does not add fluoride when it treats drinking water at its R.E. Badger filtration plant for several reasons, including the added cost, potential opposition and a lack of demand for fluoridation from district customers.

California law requires water agencies with 10,000 or more service connections to add fluoride to their drinking water. Santa Fe falls below that threshold, and therefore is not mandated to fluoridate its water supply.

Fluoride was first added to drinking water in the United States in 1945, and its use has been controversial since the beginning. Historical accounts note that some opponents suggested the addition of fluoride to public drinking water supplies was a “communist plot” to undermine public health.

However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has recognized fluoridated drinking water as one of the 10 most important public health achievements of the 20th century, a list that includes vaccinations, improved motor-vehicle safety and recognition of the health hazards of tobacco use.

Numerous scientific studies have found that fluoridated water is an effective method to reduce tooth decay, said Dr. Richard Clark, director of medical toxicology at UC San Diego Medical Center.

“That’s why it’s in every tube of toothpaste that you can buy,” said Clark. “It’s perfectly healthy.”

“The science is settled on this. It’s well known that (fluoride) prevents cavities and it’s not toxic,” he said.

No evidence exists of any negative health effects from fluoride at the low levels used in drinking water and toothpaste, Clark said.

But some continue to insist there are negative effects. Michael Hogan, president of the Santa Fe Irrigation District Board of Directors, said his sister told him she is sensitive to fluoride due to a medical condition, and wanted to be informed if fluoride is added to the district’s drinking water.

“There will be a segment of the population absolutely opposed to inserting a chemical into the water,” Hogan said.

According to the website of the California Department of Public Health, about 67 percent of the U.S. population has access to fluoridated drinking water.

In San Diego County, about 70 percent of the drinking water supply is fluoridated, Bardin estimated.

The district is closing its filtration plant for a $1.5 million project to improve the facility’s disinfection process, Bardin said. Baffling will be installed in a 13-million-gallon treatment tank, which will increase the time that water is in contact with disinfectants.

During the plant’s closure, the district will receive treated water from the Metropolitan Water District’s treatment plant near Hemet, said Bardin.

Once the Badger plant reopens, fluoridated water will remain in the system for about two weeks, Bardin said.

Related posts:

  1. Santa Fe Irrigation District board lifts mandatory restrictions on water use
  2. Santa Fe Irrigation District tapping into new water source
  3. Water rates for Santa Fe Irrigation District to increase in new year
  4. Santa Fe Irrigation District asks customers to reset their irrigation controllers
  5. Del Mar, Carmel Valley water supply to get additional fluoride

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Posted by Staff on Oct 24, 2011. Filed under News, Solana Beach. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

5 Comments for “Santa Fe Irrigation District customers to receive fluoridated drinking water — temporarily”

  1. jwillie6

    Fluoride is neither a nutrient nor essential for healthy teeth. It cures nothing and heals nothing and has never been tested or approved by FDA as safe and effective for human ingestion.

    There are many large scientific studies to show that drinking fluoridated water has no positive effect on cavity reduction and to show that it causes cancer, thyroid damage, broken hips from brittle bones, lowered IQ and other health problems. The best source for scientific information on fluoridation can be found here: <a href="http:// (” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>(

    If fluoride were "proven," there should be evidence of its success in the U.S. state, Kentucky, which has been 100% fluoridated for over 40 years. However, government records show that Kentucky leads the nation in the number of dental cavities in children, and in the number of completely toothless adults. The same ineffectiveness is evident in many states and cities.

    Most of Europe (16 countries) has considered and has rejected fluoridation and is 98% fluoride free. The World Health Organization reports that these countries have a better tooth decay rate than any fluoridated country.

  2. jwillie6

    Even if fluoride was helpful to teeth, distributing any drug in drinking water is the most expensive and wasteful method.

    As a Civil Engineer, I know that people drink only 1/2% (one-half percent) of the water they use. The remaining 99 &frac12; % of the water with toxic fluoride chemical is dumped directly into the environment through the sewer system.

    For example, for every $1000 of fluoride chemical added to water, $995 would be directly wasted down the drain in toilets, showers, dishwashers, etc., $5 would be consumed in water by the people, and less than $0.50 (fifty cents) would be consumed by children, the target group for this outdated practice.

    That would be comparable to buying one gallon of milk, using six-and-one-half drops of it, and pouring the rest of the gallon in the sink.

    Fluoridation surely is in contention as the most wasteful government program. Giving away fluoride tablets free to anyone who wants them would be far cheaper and certainly more ethical, because then we would have the freedom to choose.

  3. paul connett

    Proponents of water fluoridation have for over 60 years tried to maintain that science supports their case that fluoridation is “safe and effective” and that the people opposed to fluoridation are “unscientific “ or worse. This is simply not the case as the following items make very clear.

    1) 28-minute video: Professional Perspectives on Water Fluoridation. This video features 15 scientists explaining why fluoridation is an outdated and unacceptable practice. It can be watched for free online. LINK:
    2) Ten Top Arguments Against Fluoridation. This is a bold statement of our case. It is quick to read but is not fully referenced. LINK:
    3) 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation (updated August 2011). This is more than most people probably need but it is thoroughly referenced. This would be ideal for skeptical dentists, doctors, scientists and schoolteachers. LINK:
    4) Book: The Case Against Fluoride. This book co-authored by Paul Connett, PhD, James Beck, MD, PhD and Spedding Micklem, D Phil (Oxford) was published in October 2010 by Chelsea Green publishers. Written for a lay audience it is backed up with 80 pages of references It can be ordered from amazon,com.
    5) Professionals’ Statement calling for an end to water fluoridation. As of Oct 2011, this has been signed by over 3800 professionals, including 674 nurses, 556 chiropractors, 467 PhDs, 407 doctors and 328 dentists. LINK:
    6) The FAN webpage. All of the above material can be found along with more science-based information at <a href="” target=”_blank”> along with the latest news on fluoridation battles around the world.

    Paul Connett, PhD, co-author of "The Case Against Fluoride" and director fo the Fluoride Action Network, <a href="” target=”_blank”>

  4. The district MUST warn their customers that fluoridated water CANNOT be used in making infant formula.

    All infant formulas, either concentrated or ready-to-feed, already contain some fluoride and, when routinely mixed with fluoridated water, increase the risk of dental fluorosis (discolored teeth), according to Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a video commentary published on, March 8, 2011

  5. supersky

    I am so glad to live in a district with informed citizens. The fluoride they want to dump into our water system is a by product of the phosphate industry. That's right, it's a by product of fertilizer. The EPA forced the phosphate industry to capture this pollutant and they need a way to disposeof it. Thus, dilute it in our water supply and market the hell out of it, saying it will reduce cavities. Hogwash! The fluoride put into tap water is not te same pharmaceutical grade fluoride used at the dentist office.

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