White House Utility District (WHUD), the state’s largest geographic water and wastewater provider, has been awarded a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The distinction, which was presented to WHUD by the Tennessee Public Health Association and the Tennessee Department of Health, recognizes utility districts nationwide that achieve excellence in community water fluoridation for 12 consecutive months. WHUD is one of just 66 utility districts in the state to earn this award – approximately 20% of the 360+ utility districts in Tennessee.
“Water plays such an important role in our individual health and the health of our communities,” said Bill Treanor, facilities engineer for WHUD, “and we work very hard to make sure that the water we deliver to the communities we serve is the very best quality available. This includes making sure it is safe to drink and promotes good health, that we remain compliant with all state and national recommendations and guidelines, and that our delivery system is reliable.”
Fluoridation of a public water supply began in 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since then, water fluoridation has had a profound positive impact on the oral health of millions – according to the American Dental Association (ADA), water fluoridation can reduce tooth decay by 20-40%. Because of this, CDC lists fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
“We began adding fluoride to our water in the early 90s and continue to do so today,” said Treanor. “However, since it is naturally occurring in our water supply, we monitor the water daily to see what our levels are and to determine how much we need to add to hit our target level.”
WHUD’s target fluoride level is 0.7 milligrams per liter (mg/l), which is the recommended level established by the U.S. Public Health Service. To ensure that the fluoride level stays at a safe and effective range, WHUD has a comprehensive water quality testing program that includes daily self-monitoring and monthly testing by a third-party to ensure accuracy and quality.
WHUD keeps a log of fluoride levels and also reports it each year in its Water Quality Report.
To learn more about the quality of WHUD’s water, visit www.whud.org and click on Water Quality.