Government

Yorktown Receives Grant to Study Town-Operated Fluoride System

eb35c4d0a0a6507d53ec_86701bb608c22a9db27d_848396dab4ceb84568b0_1dad0f92ea977829c058_44985.jpg
New Jersey American Water will begin routine flushing of its water distribution system in the area Monday. Credits: Stock Photo
eb35c4d0a0a6507d53ec_86701bb608c22a9db27d_848396dab4ceb84568b0_1dad0f92ea977829c058_44985.jpg

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - A $19,444 grant was awarded to Yorktown by the state Department of Health to see whether it is feasible to build a town-operated fluoride system for water supplied by the Catskill Aqueduct.

Currently, the Amawalk Water Treatment Plant fluoridates its water on-site. That facility supplies water to eastern Yorktown and Somers. Residents on the west side of Yorktown and Cortlandt receive their water from the Catskill Aqueduct. The Catskill supply at one time had a fluoride feed system that was taken off-line in 2013 because it needed repair.

Because other municipalities that belong to the Northern Westchester Joint Water Works (NWJWW) do not want their water fluoridated and receive water from the same supply, a separate feed system would have to be built further down the supply line for Yorktown to fluoridate its water.

Sign Up for E-News

Town engineer Michael Quinn said the study would likely be conducted in January and that he believes the project is feasible.

“Our water personnel are very well-versed in using, testing and overseeing a system operation, so for us to oversee and maintain a fluoride addition is well within our capability,” Quinn said. “We won’t need to get new staff, we won’t need new training; we already have the in-house expertise to do it.”

The study, Quinn said, will include a cost estimate for the work. If the town board moves forward, he said, it would apply for additional funding.

Matthew Geho, operations director at NWJWW, said the residents of the other towns do not want fluoride in their water. He predicts more municipalities will end to fluoridation and that it has become a point of contention in recent years. Many people feel that fluoride is abundant outside the water supply, he said.

In 2013, when the topic of fluoridating the water was last debated publicly in Yorktown, most people who spoke at a public hearing were in favor of fluoridation. The one person who spoke against it was concerned about how fluoride would be properly tracked to ensure it doesn’t exceed safe levels. The town board eventually voted, 3 to 1, to keep fluoride in Yorktown’s drinking water.

Carl Tegtmeier, a general dentist and member of the 9th District Dental Association, said that too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, which is the darkening or striation of the teeth. However, he said that shouldn’t be a concern with the small amount of fluoride that is recommended for tap water, noting that there are great benefits to using fluoride.

“The Center sfor Disease Control stated that the addition of fluoride to the drinking water was one of the top public health achievements of the 20th century,” he said.

Tegtmeier said fluoride appears naturally in lakes and streams at 0.2 to 0.4 milligrams per liter and, for dental health, is 0.7 milligrams per liter. According to the NWJWW website, the Amawalk treatment plant adds hydrofluorosilicic acid to achieve a fluoride residual of 0.7 milligrams per liter.

He said the 9th District Dental Association, which is the grassroots component of the American Dental Association, sees the same amount of fluoridation in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas, because in children it is caused by accidentally swallowing too much toothpaste. When consumed at the proper levels, he said, fluoride acts as a protective agent against the acid erosion that leads to tooth decay and decreases cavities by 20 to 40 percent. On the other hand, he said in comparisons between the non-fluoridated county of Rockland, which he said is demographically similar to Westchester County, Rockland’s kids had 70 percent more dental procedures.

“For every dollar invested in fluoride in the water systems, people will save $38 in dental expenses,” he said.

For children who grow up with fluoridated water, he said, the benefits will stay with them even if they move to non-fluoridated areas later in life.

“It really evens the playing field for everybody,” he said. “Whether you come from a lower economic class or higher economic class, everybody has a chance to have great teeth whether they have access to dental care or not.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

An 'Air of Hypocrisy' at Town Hall

February 22, 2018

There is an air of hypocrisy blowing over Yorktown and it is coming from town hall. Over the past couple of weeks, I questioned the “temporary” hiring of the Oxman Law Group as legal counsel to Yorktown in a purported “interim” capacity. I have had comments of support and comments questioning my motivation. Rather than have people guess, I would like to be ...

The DACA Dilemma and the Trick of the Trickle-Down Theory

Here is our very own Sen. Charles Schumer on the Senate floor last week: “President Trump has stood in the way of a bipartisan solution to DACA, a problem he created in the first place, and yet the president is in this dream world. He thinks, ‘Oh, I can blame Democrats for the impasse.’ As I said, only in the 1984 world where up is down and black is white could this be true.

A Gold Medal for Jerry

Time advances at a relentless pace. It seems like life moves as though through a movie projector operating at triple speed. As Virgil commented, “It flies never to be regained.” We desperately try to slow its unyielding march by celebrating milestones: birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, weddings, etc. The hope is that we can somehow slow the process, take a breath and enjoy the ...

I Love 'I Hate Hamlet'

Let’s face it, folks. Not everyone loves Shakespeare. Not even all actors. Andrew Rally is one of them. In fact, where there’s a Will, there’s a way Andrew will find to avoid acting in one of those famously timeless plays. And for good reason. Shakespeare tests, to the fullest, an actor’s mettle, and Andrew is strictly a TV actor.

He has just ended a star turn in the ...

I Am Woman, Hair Me Roar

When you have short hair, it is inevitable that you will spend an inordinate amount of time growing your hair out and then getting fed up and cutting it again. I have been down this hair-brained road several dozen times before, complaining for months until I am convinced my husband is going to cut it all off while I sleep just so he doesn’t have to listen to me whine about it one more ...

Should Valentine's Day Be Celebrated at School?

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’ve been a third-grade teacher for over 20 years and have never allowed my students to celebrate Valentine’s Day in my class. I know my colleagues think I’m mean, but I’m refusing to celebrate it for many reasons.

1) Children hand out cards to each other and there’s always some child left out or who gets very few; 2) Children are always asked ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 25, 10:30 AM

Yorktown Heights

Kids Hamantash Bake

Religions And Spirituality

Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Yorktown Heights

Robert Kesten to speak on Property Taxes & ...

Government

Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Westchester Collaborative Theater, Ossining

WCT Scene/Monologue Study Open For Enrollment Now

Arts & Entertainment Education Other

Red Cross blood shortage prompts urgent call for blood and platelet donations during National Blood Donor Month

February 23, 2018

This January, National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give now and help address a winter blood donation shortage.

Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year, with more than 150 blood drives forced to cancel causing over 5,500 blood and platelet ...