Patea - Waverley Fluoride Consultation Open

Patea - Waverley Fluoride Consultation Open

Monday, October 08, 2012

Public consultation on whether or not to add fluoride to the Patea and Waverley town water supplies opens today (Monday 8 October) and runs until 9 November 2012.

Currently, neither the Patea or Waverley town water supplies are fluoridated, however, as part of the 2011/12 Annual Plan process, and in response to requests from public submissions, the South Taranaki District Council agreed to consult about the possibility of adding fluoride to the towns’ water supplies.

Specifically, the Council will be asking residents of Patea and Waverley if they want it to:

Keep things the way they are and not fluoridate the Patea and/or Waverley town water supplies; or begin adding fluoride to the Patea and/or Waverley town water supplies.

STDC Community services manager, Claire Symes, says to help residents make an informed decision, the Council is holding public information evenings in Waverley and Patea on 8 and 9 October 2012.

“At these information evenings there will be two presentations, one from those in support of fluoridation and one from those against. Each party will have 30 minutes to present their information and following the presentations, there will be a 30 minute question and answer session,” says Mrs Symes.

Public Information Evenings

Waverley:           Monday 8 October, 7pm, Waverley Community Centre, Chester Street

Patea:                 Tuesday 9 October, 7pm, Patea Old Folks Hall, Egmont Street

Further information about Fluoride is also available at the Patea and Waverley LibraryPlus centres.

Following the month long consultation period there will be a special Hearing held at 9am on Monday 26 November at the Patea Old Folks Hall on Egmont Street (note this is a change of venue) for those people who wanted to speak to their submissions. Only people who have made written submissions can speak at this Hearing.

Submission Forms are available at the Patea and Waverley LibraryPlus centres. Alternatively you can complete a form online  by clicking here or email a submission to

Once the Council has considered all of the information received, it will meet on 10 December 2012 (Deliberation Meeting) to make a decision.

All Patea and Waverley town residents and submitters will be notified of the Council’s decision following the Deliberation meeting.

Key Dates to Remember

8 October 2012

Submissions Open

Waverley Public Information Evening

9 October 2012

Patea Public Information Evening

9 November 2012

Submissions Close at 4pm

26 November 2012

Special Hearing (Patea Old Folks Hall)

10 December 2012

Deliberation Meeting


Questions and Answers

What is the level of fluoride naturally found in the Patea and Waverley town water supply?

The level of fluoride naturally occurring in the water is less than 0.2 grams per cubic metre.

What would the level of fluoride in the water be if fluoride was introduced into the supply?

The targeted level of fluoride after treatment is 0.7 to 1.0 grams per cubic metre, as recommended by the Ministry of Health.

What monitoring would be undertaken to check the level of fluoride actually added?

Weekly samples would be taken from the Patea and Waverley water supplies to ensure the dose is correct and does not exceed the maximum limit of 1.5 grams per cubic metre. The Taranaki District Health Board’s Drinking Water Assessor audits the Council records on a quarterly basis to verify compliance with the Drinking Water Standard for the Ministry of Health.

What is the maximum level of fluoride allowable under the Ministry of Health Drinking Water Standard?

The maximum allowable level of fluoride under the Drinking Water Standard is 1.5 grams per cubic metre. The maximum allowable value under the World Health Organisation guideline is 1.5 grams per cubic metre. The Ministry of Health recommends fluoride to be dosed at between 0.7 grams per cubic metre and 1.0 grams per cubic metre.

How many people in New Zealand get fluoridated water?

In New Zealand 56%1of the total population have fluoridated water. 68%2of those on town water supplies have fluoridated water. (1. National Fluoride Information Service Review, April 2012. 2. Ministry of Health Annual Review on Drinking Water Quality 2010-11)

What type of fluoride would be added if it was introduced to the water supply?

It would be either hydro-fluorosilicic acid (liquid) or sodium silica fluoride (powder). 

Where does the Council buy the fluoride from?

The chemical is supplied by ORICA Chemnet NZ Ltd.

What country does the fluoride originate from?

The hydro-fluorosilicic acid supplied to the Council is made in New Zealand. Sodium silica fluoride is sourced from India.

What areas of South Taranaki district water supply are fluoridated?

The Hawera water supply, which includes the towns of Hawera, Normanby, Ohawe and Okaiawa, is fluoridated with hydro-fluorosilicic acid. This started in the early 1970’s with sodium fluoride.

How much would the Council spend annually on buying fluoride products?

The total cost is likely to be between $1,000 to $2,500 per annum for the fluoride. The amount depends on the type of fluoride selected for use.

What would be  the cost of installing fluoride dosing plants at each water supply?

It is estimated that the total cost to install the plants at Patea and Waverley would be in the area of $260,000 or approximately $130,000 at each supply. This equates to the water targeted rate increasing by $3.10 per annum and the metered rate increasing by $0.016 per cubic meter. These increases would be spread across all urban water supply users in the South Taranaki district.

Is Government funding available to help with installation costs?

Yes.The Ministry of Health representatives in Taranaki have indicated funding is available but this has yet to be confirmed.  

For further information

Check out the NZ Ministry of