FORKS — In 1956, the City Council researched the pros and cons of adding fluoride to the town’s drinking water, then decided to put the question before the voters.
It passed, and Forks became one of the first cities in the state to approve fluoridation.
Forty-seven years later, fluoride is still in the city’s water supply.
It is also the only public system in Jefferson and Clallam counties adding fluoride to its water.
Dave Zellar, director of public works for the city, said there’s been no negative impacts from fluoridation, but there is no statistical data to prove it has resulted in a lower number of cavities among residents.
The number of dentists has fallen from three to one during that 47-year period — but that has more to do with the West End’s economy, Zellar said.
“I hear that it does do good,” Zellar said. “I’ve been here 16 years, and it’s never been an issue for citizens.”
Cost of fluoridation is passed on to water customers, Zellar said.
The cost is 65 cents per month for each of the approximately 1,400 residences on the city’s water system.
Zellar said his suggestion to stop fluoridation as a way of saving residents money was turned down.
“The council didn’t want to discuss it,” Zellar said.
————–The rest of the story appears in the Monday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE, above, to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.