Niles receives award for water quality

Published 8:54 am Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has announced that the City of Niles Utilities Department’s Water Division has been awarded a Water Fluoridation Award from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in the water to a level that is optimal for preventing tooth decay. The award recognizes those communities that maintained a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water throughout 2012.

A total of 1791 water systems in 34 states received this award, including 63 in Michigan.

“Community water fluoridation is one of the most effective ways that communities can use to prevent tooth decay in children and adults,” said Dr. Katherine Weno, DDS, JD, director, CDC Division of Oral Health. “Our current research shows that people living in fluoridated communities have about 25 percent fewer cavities over their lifetime.”

Community water fluoridation has been recognized by CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Currently, nearly three quarters (73.9 percent) — or 204 million people — served by community water systems have access to optimally fluoridated tap water. CDC recommends water fluoridation as a safe, effective, and inexpensive method of preventing decay. In fact, every $1 invested in fluoridation saves at least $38 in costs for dental treatment.

“Michigan consistently exceeds the CDC recommendations for community water supplies by having 90 percent of our population on community water systems accessing fluoridated water,” said Christine Farrell, Michigan’s oral health program director. “These awards demonstrate the commitment to quality by these community water systems. Water fluoridation benefits all residents of a community and it has demonstrated its effectiveness in preventing tooth decay throughout one’s lifetime.”