Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Council due to decide fluoride issue on Tuesday

By
From page A1 | September 29, 2013 |

After months of community debate on water fluoridation, the City Council has the task Tuesday of determining whether the cavity-fighting compound should be added to the city’s drinking water supplies.

The special council meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd. It can be watched live on Comcast Channel 16, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 and streamed on the city’s website at www.cityofdavis.org/media.

Should the council approve fluoridation, city staff estimate it would add about $2 per month to water utility bills in Davis. Proponents believe fluoridation would provide affordable preventative dental care to the public and opponents say it is an inefficient way to deliver that service, amid many other arguments and counterarguments.

Water charges in town are already expected to triple over the next five years, and continue to rise thereafter, after the council pumped up rates in March to raise enough cash to cover the city’s share of the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency surface water project. That share is estimated at $110 million.

If the project stays on schedule, construction would start later this year and the new drinking water would arrive in Davis by 2016. The project will pump water from the Sacramento River, treat it at a plant shared by Davis and Woodland, and pipe it to each community.

The capital costs of fluoridating the surface water supply would be about $240,000 — though that number could grow to $300,000 if Woodland decides to not fluoridate its own supply. But the real cost for Davis is in fixing the deep wells with the compound.

To fluoridate the city’s six deep-water wells, engineers calculate a price tag of anywhere from $837,000 to $2 million in up-front capital costs.

Operation and maintenance costs of fluoridating Davis’ water supply, meanwhile, for both deep wells and the surface water plant would be about $230,000 to $240,000 per year.

While water bills likely would increase by a couple of bucks each month, if the council OKs fluoride, the city would not have to restart the rate-setting process, as the rates the council adopted in March still would cover the cost of fluoridation.

Water rates set by the Proposition 218 process are the maximum amounts a city can charge residents for water.

City staff will not make a recommendation one way or the other on fluoridation Tuesday, but Herb Niederberger, the city’s general manager of utilities, development and operations, and Dianna Jensen, the city’s principal civil engineer, do mention in their staff report that under state law, Davis is not required to fluoridate its water supply.

Cities in California are obligated to fluoridate drinking water only if outside funds are available to pay for it. If no funds are available, such as the case in Davis, the jurisdictions are exempt.

While staff has removed itself from the issue — though it did recommend not making a decision on the matter earlier this month because of the uncertain costs associated with fluoride — fluoridation has, in fact, been endorsed by the city’s Water Advisory Committee.

The conversation on fluoridation began this summer, when the WAC took up the issue, holding three lengthy meetings to allow the community to make their case for and against.

Public health officials and local advocates for fluoride argued that, when added to a public water supply, fluoride reduces cavity rates and dental decay and helps cities and their residents save substantial costs on dental care.

Opponents have countered that injecting fluoride into a water supply is not effective — citing studies demonstrating family income levels are a much higher predictor of cavity rates. They’ve also warned of the potential higher risk of fluorosis, a spotting of the teeth that occurs due to high exposure to fluoride.

After nine hours of public hearing over three meetings, the Water Advisory Committee eventually voted 6-1-1 in favor of a recommendation to the City Council that the city should fluoridate its drinking water.

— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Comments

comments

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    Davis team wins world robotics championship

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Suspect in UCD assault arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Watch them in action

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

    Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    We did it (together)!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    $2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

     
    Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    New ways of giving locally and beyond

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

     
    Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

    By Our View | From Page: A12

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

    Poker proceeds help youths

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Invest in water of the future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Water, water everywhere?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Anaheim, where The Force is with you

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

     
    Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

    Davis Roots hires new general manager

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Comcast announces speed upgrade

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Valente Forrest Dolcini

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Whitney Joy Engler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8