As part of a project to replace portions of the fluoride feed piping and equipment at the Carroll Water Treatment Plant serving MetroWest and metro Boston communities, MWRA will need to shut down the fluoride feed for a few months starting in early March. While fluoridation is important for dental health, health officials indicate that this short-term shutdown does not require any special additional action by consumers.
MWRA is about to replace large portions of the almost 20-year-old chemical feed system for fluoride at the treatment plant. To safely and efficiently perform the work, it will be necessary to shut down the fluoride feed system for several months. MWRA has been providing fluoridated water to the region since the 1970s, and due to its importance in protecting dental health, consulted with the Department of Public Health (DPH) Oral Health Office and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), both of whom approved the fluoride shutdown.
To do the work safely and to reduce the risk of operational problems, MWRA plans on using the remaining fluoride in the storage tanks, draining the equipment and piping, and handing the empty system over to the contractor, which will then be able to replace all the components safely. When the work is completed, all of the new system can be safely tested and adjusted with water before reintroducing chemical, decreasing the risk of unexpected issues and reducing personnel safety risks.
The current schedule is for the work to begin in late February, with the fluoridation system being off-line for approximately three months. MWRA will provide periodic updates on the project and post information on MWRA’s web site at www.mwra.com/04water/html/fluoride.html
Responding to consumers questions: The oral health experts at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health indicate that consumers do not need to take any special additional action during this short term shutdown. We have collaborated with them on language for consumers on oral health (brush your teeth, floss, visit the dentist, etc) which is posted at www.mwra.com/04water/html/fluoride.html
You can direct any questions to MWRA’s water quality phone line (617) 242-5323 or [email protected].
Note for water superintendents: during the shutdown, you will not be able to use the presence of fluoride as a tracer to determine if water surfacing is from a drinking water pipeline.
Contact Beverly Anderson, Project Manager Public Health, at [email protected] or 617-788-4822 for more information.