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Fluoride Levels Reduced in South Dakota

waterThe South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced a revised State rule that reduces fluoride levels required in drinking water. The new rule is effective as of January 2016 and stipulates a recommended range of 0.5 to 0.9 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride with an optimal level of 0.7 ppm. The revision is based on a 2015 recommendation by the Federal Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to reduce the fluoride standard of 0.7 to 1.2 ppm to an optimal level of 0.7 ppm in community public water systems.

“This new lower fluoride level in drinking water is good news for people in South Dakota,” said DENR Secretary Steve Pirner in a news release. “The new lower fluoride level still protects oral health, but at the same time cuts chemical costs for drinking water systems by more than $400,000 per year.” The rules requiring fluoridation of water apply to public water systems that serve populations of 500 or more people. Under the former rule, 77 public drinking water systems in South Dakota were required to add fluoride to their water to bring the levels up to the recommended range. Under the new rule, approximately 25 of those systems will be able to discontinue fluoride addition because the natural levels in their raw water will meet the new lower range. The remaining 52 systems will have to continue to add fluoride, but they will not have to add as much to meet the new lower level. Click here to access the South Dakota's revised rule.

Perspective of Other States in the Region

In response to the updated fluoridation recommendation by the HHS and CDC, the Minnesota Department of Health is allowing systems to apply for a variance to the existing State standard that will allow water providers to lower their fluoridation level until the State's official standard is modified. In North Dakota, fluoridation of public water systems is a voluntary program. The ND Drinking Water Program manages the voluntary implementation and provides fluoride level and sampling guidelines, which must be followed for all participating systems. In response to the USHHS and USEPA's 2011 proposed recommendation of 0.7 ppm fluoride in water to replace the previous 1.2 ppm level, North Dakota provided the guideline for the optimal level of fluoride of 0.7 ppm. The optimal fluoride level guideline for the State will be maintained at 0.7 mg/L in response to the 2015 official recommendation from the HHS and CDC.

If you would like to compare how much fluoride is included in your water system with other water systems, check out the CDC's "My Water's Fluoride " app. It breaks the information down by State, county, and individual water system.

For questions about your system’s fluoride use, contact Dr. Delvin DeBoer, AE2S Special Project Engineer at Delvin.DeBoer@ae2s.com.



If you have any questions concerning the content of this newsletter,
please contact Heather Syverson at 701-364-9111 or Heather.Syverson@ae2s.com.
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