FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE03-05
York City DEP Will Cease Fluoridation Of Catskill/Delaware Water Supply
System For Four Months To Complete Infrastructure Work
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will temporarily
suspend fluoridating the Catskill/Delaware water supply system for a four-month
period in order to complete critical system repairs. The repairs will
necessitate the shutdown of the Delaware Aqueduct periodically, and as
a result, the operation of the fluoridation system will need to be interrupted.
DEP will be replacing sluice gate operators at the Kensico Reservoir facility
and must complete this work by May 2003 to comply with an administrative
order of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The
four-month period will commence the week of January 19th, 2003.
Pursuant to the New York City Heath Code (Article 141), New York City
is required to fluoridate the public water supply. Fluoride has been added
to the City’s water supply since 1965. Intermittent disruption of
fluoridation has taken place in the past. The City’s water supply
will not otherwise be affected by the shutdown of the aqueduct. DEP has
received authorization to proceed with this plan from the New York City
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which is satisfied that this
brief interruption of fluoridation to the City’s water supply will
not have a significant impact on dental health.
Commissioner Christopher O. Ward said, “ We need to complete these
improvements to the water supply infrastructure in a timely manner, and
after discussions with the New York City Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene we have been assured that this short-term cessation of fluoridation
will not raise any health concerns for the public.”
New York City Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner, Dr. Thomas R.
Frieden said, “The benefits of fluoridation accrue over long periods
of time, and we are satisfied that the brief suspension of this process
will not be detrimental to the dental health of New Yorkers.”
Dr. William R. Calnon, president of the New York State Dental Association
said, “Fluoride is present naturally in most water sources (including
the New York City water supply), and community water fluoridation adjusts
the fluoride content to the recommended level for optimal dental health.
The New York State Dental Association commends New York City for its commitment
to public health through water fluoridation. The absence of fluoride adjustments
in the New York City water supply during this brief period will not be
detrimental to New Yorkers,” continued Dr. Calnon, “and consumers
are encouraged to continue using topical fluorides found in products such
as toothpaste and mouth rinses. For your individual family fluoride needs,
it is best to consult with your own dentist.”
The Catskill and Delaware watersheds normally provide ninety percent
of the drinking water supply of the City, and the Croton system provides
approximately ten percent. Communities in Westchester County are supplied
with water from the New York City systems.
For further information about the New York City water supply, contact
DEP at 718-595-6600 or visit our web site at nyc.gov/dep.
or concerns about fluoridation and any affect it may have on dental health,
call the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH) Information
line at 877-692-3647 or visit the DOH web site at nyc.gov/health.
You may also wish to contact the American Dental Association web site
at http://www.ada.org/public/topics/fluoride/fluoride.html, or any dentist
or dental practitioner.