No fluoride in water until April

Tara Brown of Maryborough enjoys a glass of water at her home yesterday.
Tara Brown of Maryborough enjoys a glass of water at her home yesterday. Nat Bromhead

RESIDENTS have until April before fluoride is controversially added to the Fraser Coast's drinking water.

Wide Bay Water chief executive officer Peter Scott said fluoridation equipment originally due for delivery last November was yet to be delivered.

Speaking at the Burgowan Water Treatment plant near Torbanlea yesterday, Mr Scott said the overdue machinery would be used to add fluoride at WBW's three treatment plants.

“The equipment will arrive on a skid,” Mr Scott said.

“Once it's here it will be pretty well plug and play,” he said.

“We are wired up and ready to go; all we are waiting for is delivery of the specialist machinery.”

Water treatment manager James Castle said WBW had a legal obligation to fluoridate the Coast's drinking water supplies.

He said government guidelines stipulated at least 0.8mg of fluoride must be present in each litre of water.

Mr Castle said WBW followed the “fluoride code of practice”, under which levels of the chemical are monitored in raw water supplies with extra added as required.

He pointed out that fluoride is naturally occurring in water.

State Government legislation stipulates fluoride must be added to water supply schemes supplying more than 1000 people.

This figure means residents of Tiaro and other outlying areas will not have fluoride added to their supplies.

Under State Government legislation, local authorities are responsible for the installation and management of water fluoridation plants in Queensland.

The cost of these plants has been subsidised by the State Government.

A State Government spokesperson said $35 million had been committed to ensure that more than 90% of Queenslanders would have access to fluoridated water by 2012.

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