SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency recognized 461 community water systems, including several in Northern Illinois, for maintaining state mandated fluoride levels every month in 2005. IDPH and IEPA also joined the American Dental Association in celebrating six decades of community water fluoridation.
“Water fluoridation is a proven way to prevent tooth decay and improve overall oral health for both children and adults,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. “Community water fluoridation is an efficient, economical way to promote dental health and we commend those communities who fulfill the state mandated levels of fluoride in their water systems.”
Of those recognized, 74 systems earned a commendation for meeting state recommended fluoride levels of 0.9 to 1.2 parts per million for at least five consecutive years, 99 for at least 10 years, 15 for at least 15 years and seven for at least 20 years.
Another 104 received honorable mention for meeting state recommended fluoride levels 11 of 12 months in 2005.
"We join Public Health in congratulating these water supply operators for their diligence in maintaining optimum fluoride levels for the benefit of the public," said IEPA Doug Scott.
Fluoride in drinking water helps to improve the quality of life through less tooth decay, reduced time lost from school and work, and less money spent to restore, remove or replace decayed teeth. In Illinois, 99 percent of those served by public water systems receive the benefit of fluoridated drinking water compared to the current national average of 66 percent. Fluoride is found naturally in water, but in many communities the amount of the mineral is too low and does not meet the required standards. Water operators will add fluoride to fulfill optimal health benefits to the communities. Of the 1,840 water supplies in Illinois, 883 systems adjust fluoride levels. The average cost to fluoridate a community water supply is about 50 cents per person per year.
“It is worth every penny spent when you look at the savings in dental treatment. Studies have shown that for every dollar invested in fluoridation, as much as $38 is saved,” said Dr. Whitaker.
This year marks 61 years of practicing water fluoridation and fluoride continues to prove beneficial in the battle against tooth decay. Water fluoridation benefits more than 200 million Americans, 12.4 million in Illinois.
A complete list of water systems in Northern Illinois receiving 2005 compliance awards:
Aqua IL – Candlewick
*Belvidere Water Department
***Poplar Grove Water Department *Poplar
Grove South Water Department Poplar Grove
Byron Water Department
Creston Water Department
**Forreston Water Department
**MountMorris Water Department
Nordic Woods Subdivision
Polo Water Department
**Rochelle Water Department
*Stillman Valley Water Department
Davis Junction Water Department
Knolls Edge Subdivision
Woodlawn Utilities Corp.
Dakota Water Department
Davis Water Department
Freeport Water and Sewer Commission
* Lena Water Department
Cedarville Water Department Utilities. Inc.
Alliant Energy- South Beloit
Cherry Valley Water Department
Durand Water Department
Legend Lake Water Association
Loves Park Water Department
Mancuso Village Park MHP
North Park Public Water District
**Otter Creek Lake Utilities District
*Pecatonica Water Department
****Rockton Water Department
**Westlake Utilities Service
Wildwood Utilities Company
Winnebago Water Department
Bradley Heights Subdivision
Larchmont SubdivisionUtilities. Inc.