Frankford set to add fluoride to public water system

FRANKFORD – If all goes well, the town of Frankford today was scheduled to begin adding fluoride to its public water system, part of a loan-forgiveness package agreement with the state of Delaware.

Frankford’s entire municipal water system of approximately 349 connections will receive fluoridated water.

Frankford councilman Gregory Welch, council’s water plant liaison, said he was informed “there might be a little bit of a delay, maybe a day or so. But it could possibly go in today.”

The completed project cost $20,000 and was partially funded by a Drinking Water Matching Grant from the Delaware Health and Social Services Division of Public Health’s State Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Program.

The town will monitor fluoride levels daily. Results will be reported monthly to the DPH’s Office of Drinking Water, which will collect and test monthly samples from Frankford’s public water system.

For more than 40 years, the American Dental Association has endorsed fluoridation of community water supplies as a safe and effective prevention of tooth decay.

Fluoride, which has the focus of political, moral, ethical, economic and safety debate for decades, occurs naturally in the earth’s crust and small amounts occur naturally in all water sources.

Public notice on the town of Frankford website informs parents that children who drink optimally fluoridated water daily do not need to take fluoride dietary supplements; children in households receiving Frankford’s municipal water are advised to discontinue fluoride supplements as of Aug. 15.

However, households with home water treatment systems should consult the manufacturer to determine if their systems remove fluoride, the town website notice states.

Frankford’s notice says the Center for Disease Control recommends continuing to brush with toothpaste containing fluoride, even if the water contains it as well because fluoride in drinking water is usually found at such low levels that fluoride toothpaste is beneficial.

Under Senate Bill 173, municipal water supplies are required to fluoridate their water.

Other Sussex County municipalities with fluoridated water include Georgetown, Delmar, Laurel, Lewes, Milton, Milford, Seaford and Selbyville.

For more information, contact councilman Greg Welch at 841-9958 or the town clerk Cheryl Lynch at 732-9424.

Fluoridation of the town’s water system and a feasibility study were included in an agreement stemming from the town of Frankford’s August 2016 appeal to the Delaware Environmental Appeals Board. The town’s appeal challenged the validity of DNREC’s approval of a well drilled by Mountaire Farms to supply high-volume needs at its feed plant operation without any sign-off authority from the town.

The town stood to loose upwards of $70,000 or more with the loss of Mountaire, by far the town’s largest water consumer.

In February 2017, town council backed off on its appeal with 4-1 council approval to accept DNREC’s loan-forgiveness proposal that at the time totaled about $500,000. In return, the town was required to complete a feasibility study as well as install fluoride in the town’s water system.

With confirmation of three months of continuous fluoridation, DNREC will consider writing off, or forgiving the loans the town obtained for its water plant and water system.

As of late June 2017, town councilman/treasurer Marty Presley said the town’s loan obligation was down to about $425,000.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.