Mt Crosby Water Treatment Plant.
Mt Crosby Water Treatment Plant.

Fluoride glitch leads to its removal from city water

IPSWICH'S water supply was without the controversial additive fluoride over the weekend after doses reached double the normal amount.

SEQ Water shut down a fluoride plant after fluoride levels reached 1.7mg/L for 10 minutes at the Mt Crosby Water Treatment Plant on Friday night.

Under the Water Fluoridation Regulation 2008 , SEQ Water is required to produce fluoridated water of between 0.7mg/L and 0.9mg/L averaged over a quarter.

SEQ Water is required to report higher levels of fluoride in the water supply when levels go above 1.5mg/L.

An investigation into what caused the increase levels of fluoride is ongoing.

A spokesman said a mixing component failed, allowing a large volume of fluoride to enter a reservoir.

The fluoride did not reach the drinking water, and the component has been cleaned out to ensure it operated properly.

Additional manual checks would be carried out over the coming days, the spokesman said.

Fluoride dosing of the water supply was to resume this morning.

An SEQ Water spokesman said while dosing levels varied, the multiple layers of control and monitoring in place ensured no water was supplied into the drinking water system above 1.5mg/L.

Last year Premier Campbell Newman gave councils the power to remove fluoride from their drinking supply.

The move ignited fierce debate as to whether councils across south-east Queensland should remove the chemical.

However, the debate was eventually cut short when Brisbane City Council voted to keep fluoride in the water supply.

Fluoride Facts

  • Australian Dental Association says fluoridation strengthens teeth against decay
  • Most Australian towns and cities were fluoridated in the 1960s
  • 90% of Australians benefit from water fluoridation

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