News Briefs: Lawmakers Propose Abolishing Fluoridation in New Hampshire

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, Kansas City residents conserve water to help operators deal with turbidity

Republicans in New Hampshire have proposed a bill to abolish fluoridation in municipal water systems. The House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee recently voted 16-3 to recommend its passage.

Since 2011, four bills banning fluoride in public water systems in cities and towns have been voted down in committees by unanimous votes.

“Fluoride is the only medicine we put in our water and people can get fluoride by other means,” Rep. Raymond tells Fosters.com. “There’s definitely momentum behind this.”

In another recent fluoridation story, local officials on a council in Ida Grove, Iowa, voted 3-2 to in favor of ending the town’s water fluoridation program after years of lobbying from an anti-fluoridation group in the town. A recent survey issued through utility bills had shown the majority of residents wanted fluoridation treatment to end.

“As a scientist and public health professional, it’s not the way I would conduct a survey,” Sara Carmichael-Stanley, the state water fluoridation coordinator at the Iowa Department of Public Safety, told the Des Moines Register.

KC Residents Conserving Water to Help Treatment Plant Operators Deal With Turbidity    

Residents of Kansas City, Missouri, recently were asked to conserve water to help KC Water deal with treating exceedingly turbid Missouri River water after recent floods.

Officials are hopeful that a reduced impact on the city’s water treatment plant would allow operators to meet treatment standards that have recently failed.

A mandatory alert was sent to residents warning that elderly people, infants and those with compromised immune systems were at risk of contracting disease from the water.

 “Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms,” wrote KC Water in a statement. “These organisms include bacteria, viruses and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches.”

EPA Files Suit Against New York City 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice recently announced that the United States filed suit under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act against the city of New York and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection for a longstanding failure to cover the Hillview Reservoir located in Yonkers, New York. 

A consent decree requiring the city to make improvements and cover the reservoir at an estimated cost of $2.975 billion and to pay a $1 million civil penalty was also lodged with the court. The State of New York will be a co-plaintiff and is a party to the consent decree.

“New York City failed to comply with Safe Drinking Water Act requirements that keep drinking water safe from harmful bacteria and viruses, even when it was under an order to do so,” says EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “EPA will ensure the City complies with the decree and takes the necessary steps to prevent its drinking water from harming the health of its residents.”



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