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Time to review annual water quality reports

Between now and July 1, water suppliers nationwide will be sending their customers annual Water Quality Reports or Consumer Confidence Reports—giving dental professionals the opportunity to check on the status of their community’s water, and in particular, its fluoride levels.

This year, dental professionals in San Diego and the nearby communities of Coronado, Del Mar and Imperial Beach will be able to check the area’s water fluoridation levels since fluoridation was implemented in February. Some 1.3 million San Diego area citizens are now receiving fluoridated water. Before fluoridation was implemented, San Diego was the largest nonfluoridated city in the U.S.

“Now that San Diego and nearby communities have fluoridated water, an estimated 62 percent of Californians are receiving the benefits of fluoride,” said Peter Dubois, interim executive director of the California Dental Association Foundation, which has spearheaded fluoridation efforts in the state. “Community water fluoridation is a crucial public health program, and dentists have the opportunity to share with their patients valuable information about the ways fluoride can help prevent dental disease.”

The reports, which detail quality and content of water, may be mailed to consumers’ homes (often with the water bill), published in local newspapers or posted online.

Water systems are required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue these annual reports. For more information on CCRs, log on to the EPA website at http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/ccr/index.cfm or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to check on local water system fluoridation status at www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/index.htm.

Or contact the local water supplier or the local, county or state health department for more information about the fluoride content of your water system’s water.

For more information on fluoride and fluoridation, visit www.ada.org/fluoride.aspx.