SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health presented fluoridation awards to 430 community water systems for maintaining state mandated fluoride levels every month in 2013.
IDPH presented the awards at a ceremony March 17 during the Illinois Section American Water Works Association Conference and Expo at the Crowne Plaza.
“Water fluoridation can improve overall oral health for both children and adults. Studies show water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by about 25 percent over a person’s lifetime,” said LaMar Hasbrouck, IDPH director.
“Studies also show that widespread community water fluoridation saves money for both families and the health care system. We applaud those communities that maintain levels of fluoride in their water systems and encourage them to continue their efforts.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association and the last five surgeons general have stated that water fluoridation is safe and effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called fluoridation one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
Gov. Pat Quinn proclaimed March 17-23 as Water and Wastewater Operator’s Week in Illinois. Of those recognized: 66 water systems earned a commendation for meeting the state recommended fluoride levels of 0.9 to 1.2 parts per million for at least 5 consecutive years; 63 systems for at least 10 years; 53 for at least 15 years; 43 for at least 20 years; nine for at least 25 years; and three for at least 30 years. Another 107 water systems received honorable mention for meeting state fluoride levels 11 of 12 months in 2013.
In Illinois, approximately 99 percent of those served by public water systems receive the benefit of fluoridated drinking water, compared to the current national average of approximately 72 percent.
Fluoride is found naturally in water, but in many communities, the amount of the mineral is too low and does not meet the required standards.
In Carroll County, Milledgeville, Mount Carroll, Savanna, (15 years of consecutive achievement), Shannon and Thomson Water (10) departments were recognized. Lanark Water Department received honorable mention.
Lee County departments include Amboy, Ashton, Dixon, and Woodhaven, (all 20), Dixon Correctional Center, (15), Paw Paw, Steward, (5), and West Brooklyn. Honorable mention went to Lee Water Department.
Ogle County recognition was given to Creston and Polo, (both 15), Forreston, (20), Mount Morris and Rochelle, (both 10), Byron, Leaf River, Oregon, and Stillman Valley departments, Nordic Woods Subdivision, Oregon, Rovale Corp., and Woodlawn Utilities Corp. Hillcrest Water Department and Lost Lake Utility District earn honorable mention.
Whitesdie County departments were Albany, Morrison, Rock Falls, and Fulton and Illinois American Water Co. in Sterling, (both 20). Erie and Prophetstown departments earned honorable mention.