Cornwall City Hall
The polarizing issue of whether or not Cornwall should be adding fluoride to its drinking water returns to city hall Monday.
Council will receive a report from environment manager Morris McCormick, which looks to summarize the mechanisms the city uses to actually add the chemical to our water.
McCormick's report does not take a position one way or the other on the subject which has seen proponents of the practice and critics both make pitches to city councillors.
Instead, McCormick points out some of the history behind the city's fluoride practice, and why it does it.
"The ultimate objective of any Drinking Water System Operating Authority is to operate a system that complies with all regulations made under the Safe Drinking Water Act," McCormick says in his report. "These regulations amongst other things specify the required sampling frequencies and the acceptable maximum limits of the various parameters being sampled."
The city has added fluoride to drinking water since 1962. It costs about $50,000 annually to do it.
The city draws its water from the St. Lawrence River. It is purified via the use of a coagulant and chlorine in order to make it fit for human consumption.
"After all necessary treatment has taken place, hydrofluorosilicic acid is added as a source of fluoride," says McCormick. "Hydrofluorosilicic acid is the most common source of fluoride for the water treatment industry. It is important to note that the addition of this acid is not part of the treatment process."
The province leaves it up to individual municipalities to decide on their own whether to add fluoride to drinking water - but it does mandate a specific limit of the chemical if a municipality uses it.
Fluoride Free Cornwall has argued against the use in our drinking water, while medical professionals maintain it should be use to promote dental health.
Council has not decided what, if anything, it will do with regard to the practice in Cornwall.