Fluoridation of drinking water

  • We temporarily suspended fluoridation pending review of a fluoride overfeed incident  at our water treatment plant on Thursday, February 2, 2017.

  • On April 13, 2017, the OWASA Board of Directors approved a plan to improve the reliability and safety of the fluoride feed system. Fluoridation is expected to resume in the fall of 2017 following the improvements.

  • On March 9th, 2017 the OWASA Board of Directors decided to continue the current policy of fluoridating drinking water.

The Board’s discussion and decision followed a public process including comments by more than 40 people in Board meetings, by e-mail, etc. OWASA will continue to monitor scientific developments, best practices and recommendations regarding fluoridation. Information on OWASA's consideration of fluoridation in 2012 and 2013


In accordance with recommendations of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Dental Association (ADA), and other public health-related organizations, OWASA adds fluoride to drinking water to help prevent tooth decay. The level of fluoride in our water is about 0.7 of one part per million. (One part per million is like a penny is $10,000.)

Why does OWASA fluoridate its drinking water?

To help prevent tooth decay, as recommended by the CDC, ADA, NC Division of Public Health, NC Public Water Supply Section, and other public health-related organizations. The ADA says that "fluoridation is a safe and effective means of preventing tooth decay. It has been cited by the CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Studies show that fluoridation can prevent between 15–40 percent of decay."  

Fluoride protects teeth from decay by strengthening tooth enamel and making it more resistant to acids produced by bacteria that are naturally present in our mouths. 

What is the optimum level of fluoride in drinking water?

In April 2015, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized its guideline for the optimum fluoride level as 0.7 of one part per million based on a review of scientific research. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will review this recommendation before deciding whether to change the regulatory standard. We will continue to monitor water treatment research and will consider such information and the guidance of regulatory authorities in making decisions on treating our community's water.

What is the fluoride level in our water?

The level of fluoride in our drinking water is about 0.70 of one part per million (ppm). (One part per million is like a penny is $10,000.) 

For more information