The community will decide whether Durango’s water should continue to be fluoridated in an April election.
The Durango City Council unanimously voted to place the question on the ballot following more than a year of heated meetings and debate. The council’s other option was to adopt an ordinance prohibiting fluoride, and none of the councilors seemed to support it.
The question will ask voters whether they wish to prohibit the addition of fluoride or any chemical containing fluoride to city water.
A “yes” vote would remove fluoride from the water. A “no” vote would keep fluoride in the water, City Attorney Dirk Nelson said.
As voters prepare for the election, Councilor Keith Brant encouraged everyone to look at scientific studies on fluoride levels equivalent to those in Durango. City water has .7 milligrams per liter of fluoride in it, he said.
“I encourage everyone to educate themselves,” Brant said.
The city has released a series of documents on its website on the fluoride it adds to the water, City Manager Ron LeBlanc said.
The city does not add pharmaceutical-grade fluoride to the water, he said.
“What we are putting in is a substance, not a drug,” he said.
Residents can also review the results of tests done on the water before it’s treated and afterward, he said. The documents can be found at http://bit.ly/2loX6oj or by searching the “fluoride” on the city’s website.