Wardell first cab off the rank for fluoridated water

WARDELL will soon be the first village in the Ballina and Lismore areas to receive fluoridated water, with a new dosing plant now installed at the Marom Creek Water Treatment Plant.

Debate raged for years about whether to add fluoride to water supplies in the Lismore and Ballina local government areas.

Anti-fluoride campaigner Al Oshlack took legal action against Rous Water and Ballina Shire Council, but he lost his final battle in June 2013.

Councillors in both LGAs have been divided on the issue.

However, the councils and Rous Water have been issued with directives from NSW Health to ensure the water is fluoridated.

Ballina Shire Council's civil services group manager, John Truman, said Wardell would be the first place to receive fluoridated water.

New equipment, which has been installed at the Marom Creek Water Treatment Plant, is almost ready to be switched on.

"All of the approvals from the State Government are in place," Mr Truman said.

"We're now doing a little more work on our internal procedures, and we expect to switch it on in early January."

Mr Truman said the dosing plant would be inspected daily by council staff.

It is also electronically monitored and has an automatic shut-off system.

The council has also advised residents connected to the Wardell water system to stop taking fluoride tablets if they are currently taking them.

Residents who prefer not to use fluoridated water can buy reverse osmosis units from specialist suppliers.

Water to other urban parts of the Ballina Shire will also be fluoridated.

This will be the responsibility of Rous Water, and it is expected this will occur by mid-2015.

Rous Water has awarded the tender for the construction of four fluoride dosing plants - one each at Corndale, Dorroughby, Clunes and Knockrow.

Construction should be finished around Easter next year.