By Tia Lynn Ivey
When Bostwick residents cast their ballots for president in the upcoming November Election, they will also be asked whether or not the city should remove fluoride from the drinking water in a special election question. The city of Bostwick is hoping the citizens will vote to eliminate fluoride from the drink water to save the city some money and work that is no longer necessary.
After conferring with water specialists, city of Bostwick officials have determined injecting fluoride into the city’s well water, the primary drinking source for Bostwick residents, is no longer needed.
“It’s not dangerous, it’s just unnecessary,” said Mark Batchelor, water operator for the city of Bostwick.
According to Batchelor, Bostwick began the practice of injecting fluoride into the city’s well water more than 20 years ago.
“Back then, the idea was that it could help with people’s teeth,” explained Batchelor. “Basically, babies with fluoride deficiencies, it was affecting their teeth. It was thought that adding it to the drinking water could supplement what they weren’t getting.”
But now water experts believe adding tiny amounts of fluoride to the water doesn’t do much to help protect people’s teeth.
“It’s such a small amount, in accordance to the Georgia Environmental Protection Department’s standards, it really doesn’t help any,” said Batchelor. “And nowadays, there’s more fluoride in toothpaste and other things, that people can get it that way instead.”
City of Bostwick officials are hoping to educate the public on the issue before Election Day arrives.
“We want people to inform the public about this process and why we don’t need to do this anymore,” said Batchelor. “Hopefully people will vote to remove fluoride from the water so we can remove it from our system. We will save a little money and a little work.”
According to the Morgan County Board of Registration and Election, all Bostwick voters who want to authorize city official to cease fluoridating the water should vote YES and those who want fluoridating to continue should vote NO on the special election question this November.
“If more than one-half of the votes cast on the question are to allow the cessation of the fluoridation of the City’s water system, the governing authority may cease such fluoridation at any time after the certification of the election results,’ explained Jennifer Doran, election supervisor for Morgan County. “Otherwise, the City shall be required to continue fluoridating its water system.”
Citizens have until Oct. 5 to register to vote for the special election. Early voting to the November election will begin on Oct. 12, 2020 at 8 a.m. at the Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration Office, located at 434 Hancock Street.
“The municipal polling location has been temporarily moved to your county polling location. The change in polling location is for this Special Election only,” said Doran.