Ratepayers could be asked to pick up a six-figure bill if the
Dunedin City Council opts to provide an alternative,
non-fluoridated water supply for those wanting to avoid the
Options for offering alternative, non-fluoridated drinking
water would be considered by councillors at this week's
annual plan budget meeting, beginning on Thursday.
A council staff report to the meeting outlined three options
for providing the service, ranging from encouraging people to
buy filters for their homes, to more expensive filtered
public tap supplies at locations around the city.
Encouraging ''point of use'' filters would allow those
wanting to avoid fluoridated water to do so, by buying
under-bench filters for their homes, the report by council
water and waste services asset strategy team leader Tom Dyer
The filters cost between $100 and $400 each, and claimed to
effectively remove between 90%-100% of fluoride, as well as
other impurities, he said.
The council could also consider offering a subsidy as part of
efforts to promote their use, he said.
The second option would be to invest in one or more public
water taps, filtered to remove fluoride as the ''Speight's
tap'' already was, at locations around the city, he said.
However, ''appropriate'' traffic management, access and
parking arrangements would be needed, meaning each site could
cost the council $15,000-$25,000 to establish and about $7500
a year to operate, he said.
The council would also need to give ''careful consideration''
to the level of serve required across the city, he said.
An even spread of public taps - for example allowing each
property in the city to be within 10km of a tap - would
require about six taps to be installed, he said.
That would mean a total capital cost of up to $150,000, and
annual operating costs of $45,000, for the council, he said.
The third option was to install alternative, non-fluoridated
taps at the Mt Grand and Southern water treatment plants, by
diverting some of the flow through the plants before fluoride
That, too, would come at a cost, estimated to be
$40,000-$50,000 per site and annual operating costs of $6500
per site, he said.
Council staff have been considering the issue since last
year's annual plan meetings, when councillors voted to ask
staff to investigate options for a non-fluoridated drinking
That move came after the council received 34 public
submissions on fluoride - more than any other subject - with
most concerned the chemical was being added to drinking water
for oral health benefits.