February 3, 2010

Dear Public Water System;

According to our records your system fluoridates your water supply. It was brought to our attention that fluoride reporting in some systems' Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR) has been confusing to some consumers and therefore not meeting the intent of the CCR. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MassDPH) have identified the following two areas in your CCR where specific information on fluoride must be clearly stated in order to be most helpful to your consumers. It is very important, for systems that add fluoride to their water for tooth decay prevention, that the CCR provide the following information.

  1. Necessary Information in your CCR Contaminant Table

    When fluoride appears in the contaminant table, the source of the fluoride must be clearly stated as "Water additive which promotes strong teeth" or similar phrase. Below is an example of contaminant table information:

    ContaminantDate(s) CollectedHighest Result or Highest Running Average DetectedRange DetectedMCLMCLGViolation (Y/N)Possible Sources of Contamination
    Fluoride04-23-091.10.9 - 1.144NoWater additive which promotes strong teeth
  2. Necessary Information for Treatment Description Section

    In the treatment summary area of the CCR the PWS must explain why the treatment was added. Here are some examples of what could be written:

    • Fluoride was added to prevent tooth decay/cavities.
    • Fluoride has been added since (insert year) to prevent tooth decay/cavities.
    • Fluoride addition was passed by referendum vote in (insert year) and added to the water supply in (insert year) to prevent tooth decay and improve dental health.
    • Fluoride is a naturally occurring element in many water supplies in trace amounts. In our system the fluoride level is adjusted to an optimal level averaging one part per million (ppm or mg/l) to improve oral health in children. At this level, it is safe, odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Our water system has been providing this treatment since (insert year). There are over 3.9 million people in 140 Massachusetts water systems and 184 million people in the United States who receive the health and economic benefits of fluoridation.

As MassDEP evaluates CCRs it will be paying close attention to how fluoridating PWSs include fluoride treatment information in the "contaminant table and treatment summary" sections of their reports. If you have any questions about fluoridation information in CCRs please contact Marie Tennant or your regional CCR coordinators or MassDPH/Office of Oral Health Director listed below:

AgencyLocation/RegionContact NameTelephone Number
MassDEPBostonMarie Tennant617-292-5885
WERODeirdre Doherty413-755-2148
CERORobert Bostwick508-849-4036
NEROSean Griffin978-694-3404
SERODan DiSalvio508-946-2793
OOHMassDPHLynn Bethel617-624-6074



David Y. Terry
Program Director