Alma Notifies Residents Of Fluoride Addition To Drinking Water

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ALMA (KFSM) -- The Alma Public Works Department sent out a notice to residents who are connected to its water supply.

It notified those in Alma, Redhill, Dyer and Kibler that they will begin fluoridating the water, starting on June 15.

Alma Public Works Director Mark Yardley said the population in those areas combined is around 9,000.

"The purpose is to improve the oral health of the people in the city of Alma," Yardley said.

He said the state mandated act has been met with some resistance.

"There are those in the community who have voiced their opposition to have fluoride in the drinking water but, because it's state-mandated, we really don't have a choice," Yardley said. "We have to fluoridate the water."

The Arkansas Department of Health and The American Dental Association backs the addition of fluoride to drinking water, noting it to be safe and effective in preventing tooth decay. Those on the other side of the issue have called it unethical and unhealthy.

In 2011, Arkansas Legislators passed Act 197 requiring water supplies serving more than 5,000 to use fluoride in those systems.

The amount of fluoride is regulated by the state.

"Regulation calls for a fluoride level between 0.7 and 1.2 parts per million, and the city of Alma is planning to feed the 0.7 million," Yardley said.