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Fluoride levels spike over weekend at Queensland water treatment plant

Posted: August 5, 2013 |   Comments

( An Australian water treatment plant malfunctioned over the weekend, raising the fluoride levels to double the average requirement.

The fluoride levels reached 1.7 mg/L in one of two service reservoirs at Seqwater's Mt. Crosby plant for about ten minutes Friday night. Under the Water Fluoridation Regulation 2008, Seqwater is required to produce fluoridated water of between 0.7 mg/L and 0.9 mg/L averaged over a quarter. Seqwater is also required to notify the Queensland Water Supply Reglator (QWSR) if fluoride levels rise above 1.5 mg/L.

A spokeswoman for Seqwater stated that none of the contaminated water reached the drinking water supply and the incident did not pose a health risk.

"While dosing levels varied, the multiple layers of control and monitoring in place ensured no water was supplied into the drinking system above 1.5mg/L," she said.

"The QWSR was notified as required and they advised that the disruption did not pose a health risk. Queensland Urban Utilities was also advised."

Last year, the Newman government allowed councils to decide for themselves wether or not to allow fluoride in their water. Its addition to water supply was formerly mandated my the Labor government. Councils in southeast Queensland opted to continue the water fluoridation program, while Fraser Coast Regional Council joined Cairns, Bundaberg, Tablelands, Burdekin and Dommadgee councils in removing fluoride from their drinking water.

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