Water Quality

Two little girls brushing their teeth.
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Quick Tip

Unlike many areas of the country, Monroe County has more than enough water to satisfy current and future needs. Our water source, Lake Ontario, and the other Great Lakes contain 20% of the world’s fresh water!

Fluoride in Your Drinking Water Banner with water flowing out a glass jar.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) proclaimed fluoridation to be one of the top ten greatest public health achievements of the past century and that “…water fluoridation remains the most equitable and cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all members of most communities, regardless of age, educational attainment or income level.” Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop stated, “Fluoridation is the single most important commitment that a community can make to the oral health of its citizens.”

The fluoridation of drinking water is endorsed by:

  • American Dental Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • US Public Health Service
  • Canadian Dental Association
  • World Health Organization
  • New York State Department Of Health
  • California Department Of Health Services
  • Many, many others
Two little boys brushing their teeth.

Why fluoridate?

Dental Disease is chronic and preventable. Dental caries is still the most common preventable chronic disease in the U.S according to CDC. Fluoridation reduces dental caries and dental disease by stopping or even reversing the tooth decay process. It keeps tooth enamel strong and solid. Tooth decay is caused by certain bacteria in the mouth. When a person eats sugar and other refined carbohydrates, these bacteria produce acid that removes minerals from the surface of the tooth. Fluoride helps to remineralize tooth surfaces and prevents cavities from continuing to form.

Presently, nearly 75% of U.S. residents who receive water from a public water system receive fluoridated water. That includes 43 of the largest 50 cities in the country. Fluoride is a naturally occurring element in the environment that is known to be effective in preventing tooth decay in children and adults. Some water supplies contain fluoride naturally, but others, like Lake Ontario and Hemlock Lake contain fluoride but do not contain enough fluoride to be beneficial. Within our service areas the level of fluoride in the water is adjusted to an optimal concentration of 0.7 mg/L. Water samples are collected daily too so that fluoride levels in the water we deliver to you remain within the optimal range. 

Is fluoride safe?

Extensive research conducted over the past 50 years has shown time and time again that fluoridation of public water supplies is a safe, effective and economical way to reduce tooth decay for all ages. The fluoride used in drinking water is tested and must meet American Water Works Association (AWWA) and National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards for purity. 

More Information? The New York State Health Department provides information on fluoridation’s benefit, safety, and costs and savings. The Centers for Disease Control Oral Health Resource page and the American Dental Association Fluoride and Fluoridation page are also excellent and current sources of information.