The Coast News Group
The Olivenhain Municipal Water District received a permit OK from the California Department of Health on Tuesday to begin fluoridating the water supply. Photo by Tony Cagala

Fluoridation begins after permit OK’d

COAST CITIES — Customers of OMWD (Olivenhain Municipal Water District) can expect to have fluoride in their water system in the next several days. 

That comes as OMWD received permit approval to begin the fluoridation process on Tuesday.

According to Tom Kennedy, OMWD operations manager, they began the fluoridation implementation on Wednesday.

The fluoridation process originally scheduled to begin on July 1 was delayed when a permit submitted to the CDPH (California Department of Public Health) wasn’t ready for approval.

The district initially submitted one permit that encompassed all of the projects ongoing at the OMWD facilities.

The CDPH wasn’t ready at that time to issue an OK for the entire permit.

Since then, OWMD resubmitted a permit application solely for the fluoridation process.

With the fluoridation process beginning, OMWD is on the CDPH’s list of agencies not exempt from the requirement to fluoridate.

There is no possibility at this time to prevent the implementation of fluoride for the current fiscal year, July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, said John Carnegie, a staff analyst with OMWD.

Carnegie added that the CDPH does review the list annually, and should OWMD find itself removed from the list for the fiscal year 2015 the board of directors may reconsider fluoridation.

And public input at that time could affect whether they fluoridate in fiscal year 2015 and beyond.

The SFID (Santa Fe Irrigation District) is one of two coastal North County water districts not to fluoridate the water.

The other is the SDWD (San Dieguito Water District).

Jessica Parks, public information officer/ management analyst with SFID, said they’ve haven’t had to implement fluoride into their water supply “mostly because we’re not regulated to.

“Under AB 733, it says that a public water system must have at least 10,000 service connections and we have, as of 2011, 6,485.”

AB 733 was introduced in 1995 by then-state Assembly member Jackie Speier and took effect Jan. 1, 1997.

The bill’s purpose being, “part of the U.S. Public Health Service’s national campaign to fluoridate 75 percent of all Americans by the turn of the century . . . The measure seeks to address the lack of fluoridation in California’s public water supplies in an effort to prevent tooth decay, the most prevalent but most preventable and costly of oral health problems among all age groups.”

The measure documented that fluoridation is an “emotional” issue, with four primary concerns of public health policy, state mandates versus local control, costs and funding and science.

According to Parks, other reasons SFID hasn’t considered fluoridation is because rate payers have not asked for it and the board of directors hasn’t asked staff to pursue it.

By not pursuing fluoridation, it keeps rates down for their customers, too, she added.

The cost benefit is that they also won’t have to do any upgrades or any special designs needed at the R.E. Badger Filtration Plant, which they share with SDWD.

If fluoridation was ever considered by either district, there would be no issue with the two sharing a plant, Parks explained, because after the water is treated it goes to two separate water systems.

SDWD provides potable and recycled water to 38,000 customers, though they have no intention to implement fluoridation in the future, according to Amber Romero, finance analyst with the district.

She said that the district hasn’t received any calls from rate payers asking for the fluoridation — rather, just the opposite.

In February 2012, they did import fluoridated water from SDCWA (San Diego County Water Authority), which they supplied to their customers while the R.E. Badger Filtration Plant was being maintained. She said the district had alerted their customers to the fact.

Both districts receive their water from local sources as Lake Hodges and untreated water from SDCWA.


Lisa July 31, 2013 at 1:45 am

Dr. Banks & Dr. Richard Sauerheber, thank you for taking the time to post. I could not agree more.

Signed, incredibly unhappy OMWD customer.

Dr. Richard Sauerheber July 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm

CA AB 733 is in conflict with Federal water law designed to protect our water by prohibiting addition of any substance into water for the purpose of treating people. The Coast News article here makes it clear that OMWD customers are being treated–specifically fluoridated. This is not a water additive like chlorination. It is an oral ingested dental chemical assimilated into everyone’s blood. Fluoride is not a normal component of human blood. It is a diluted insecticide that accumulates into bone lifetime, weakening bone as well as causing other biochemical side effects especially in those lacking kidneys and in those allergic/hypersensitive to it.
Please read the recent article in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health JEPH 439490 online free and then write to the U.S. FDA, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Rockville, MD 20857 in support of the petition asking the FDA to ban all industrial fluoride infusions into U.S. water supplies. Fluoride is not FDA approved for ingestion in the U.S. and we have a chance of halting this for the protection of all U.S. citizens from water district boards who so easily fluoridate people without obtaining in writing from chemical suppliers the proof that it is safe or effective. This is the least they could do for us, and yet they refuse.
AB733 is invalid legislation since it assumed that ingested fluoride lowered caries. This has been dramatically disproven as published in many detailed studies (Teotia; Sutton; NRC; Ziegelbecker; Yiamouyiannis and other studies). The law only applied IF ingested fluoride actually decreased caries–it doesn’t, either from the blood or topically from saliva where it is 0.02 ppm (toothpaste is 1,500).
This is a senseless waste of money in consumers’ water bills.

Steven Slott July 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Dr. Richard Sauerhaber is the “resident scientist” for the organization “Fluoride Class Action” of attorney Robert Deal.

From the “Fluoride Class Action” website:

“If you have a question about the science surrounding fluoridation, you may ask our resident scientist, Dr. Richard Sauerheber.”

Richard D. Sauerheber, Ph.D.
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission Rd.
San Marcos, CA 92069


Attorney Deal, in addition to the suggestive name “Fluoride Class Action”, has close ties to the antifluoridationist organization, “Fluoride Action Network” and has an abundance of antifluoridation literature on his websites.

From Deal’s “Fluoride Class Action” website:

“Contribute to Fluoride Action Network
Posted on December 31, 2012 by Professor Deal in Lead

From James Robert Deal Attorney – If you care about lead in your drinking water, and a lot of other unhealthy contaminants, contribute to Fluoride Action Network.

Go to, and be generous. And buy this book: The Case Against Fluoride.”


Deal has on one of his websites:

“Start a Fluoride Class Action Lawsuit in Your City

Attorney James Robert Deal

“Attorney James Robert Deal at Fluoride Class Action has a brilliant idea. Put your city on notice of its likely legal liabilities for fluoridating your water supply. In Mr. Deal’s letter he notified the city of Seattle of its potential legal liability of $50,000 per fluoride-damaged child.”


The “recent article” in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, to which Sauerhaber refers is a study of his own which, by all intents and purposes, seems to this reader to be nothing more than an exercise in taking a preconceived idea and working backwards to “prove” it. Given the clear conflict of interest Sauerhaber has with his ties to Attorney Deal’s legal activities in regard to water fluoridation, it is a total mystery how this study of Sauerhaber’s even made it past peer-review, assuming it did. Clearly, in view of this conflict of interest, the Journal of Environment and Public Health should fully investigate the situation and rethink its decision to have published this paper in the first place. The integrity of valid, peer-reviewed science, and that of this Journal, itself, demands such an investigation.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

michelle July 29, 2013 at 11:32 am

you must have no info in front of you as to the reason that this chemical/drug additive even exists. It was initially used in WW2 Germany and in experiments on the prisoners, to test for effects. It has a very interesting affect , it makes people more submissive. Interesting to say the least! Its a poison and now its not a poison because we are forced to have our water contain it? Its water for everything, lawns, birds, animals, washing. It should not have fluoride in it. Please wake up. Michelle Mann.

David Banks, DDS July 26, 2013 at 6:52 pm

It is unfortunate that OMWD made their decision to fluoridate with so little public input. Naturally occurring calcium fluoride would be one thing, but toxic sodium fluoride industrial waste from China presents an entirely different risk for our community. OMWD has failed to do due diligence with regard to the product they have chosen.

A child under 6 drinking fluoridated waster receives more fluoride than I could legally prescribe if they drink even one liter of water in a day. There are now 38 studies associating fluoride exposure with lower IQ’s and we have over 40% of our teenagers with at least mild fluorosis indicating a fluoride overdose. Since fluoride works on teeth topically, not systemically, do we really need to put in our water supply?

What happened to freedom of choice? This process of forced medication ignores individual rights, ignores vulnerable subsets such as kidney or thyroid patients and the elderly, and ignores the fact that individual dose cannot be controlled. This a sad day for customers of OMWD.

Steven Slott July 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Dr. Banks presents an excellent example of the reason why public Health initiatives such as water fluoridation are best left in the hands of those civic and healthcare Boards which act in the best interests of their entire constituency, after having done due diligence and proper research from reliable and accurate sources. If a dentist such as Dr. Banks can fall prey to the misinformation disseminated by antifluoridationists, without seeking accurate information on his own, this gives a very good demonstration of how an onslaught of misinformation can convince enough members of a population to cause the deprivation of proven benefits of an initiative such as water fluoridation, to the entire population.

First, Dr. Banks fails to understand that the most utilized agent to increase the concentration of fluoride already existing in water, by a miniscule few parts per million, is hydrofluorosilic acid (HFA). HFA and phosphoric acid are the two co-products of a process of extraction of both from naturally occurring phosphorite rock. The phosphoric acid co-product is utilized in fertilizers which become incorporated into foods that we eat, and is utilized in the soft drinks we consume. The HFA co-product is carefully diluted and utilized to transfer fluoride ions into water systems that do not already have fluoride concentrations of 0.7 parts per million or more, to raise that level to 0.7 ppm, the optimal level. When HFA is introduced into drinking water, the pH of that water causes the immediate and complete dissociation of HFA. The products of this dissociation are fluoride ions identical to those fluoride ions which already exist in water, and which humans have been ingesting since the beginning of time, and trace contaminants which are in such miniscule concentrations that the fall well under the EPA mandated maximum levels of safety for each contaminant, and pose no risk, whatsoever, of causing any adverse effects. After dissociation, HFA no longer exists in that water, it does not reach the tap, it is not ingested, and it is therefore of no concern, whatsoever. “Toxic sodium industrial waste from China” is nothing more than hogwash regurgitated from biased antifluoridationist websites, because Dr. Banks failed to do due diligence and obtain accurate facts.

Second. There are no valid, peer-reviewed scientific studies which “associate” water fluoridated at 0.7 ppm with “lower IQs” If Dr. Banks wishes to cite any, I will gladly refute each with valid facts supported by scientific evidence.

Third. The Institute of Medicine has established upper limits (UL) for the amount of daily fluoride intake from all sources, below which no adverse effects, long or short term, will occur. The daily upper limit (UL) from all sources for children 1-3 years old is 1.3 mg., for those 3-8 years old is 2.2 mg. A child drinking one liter of water fluoridated at 0.7 mg/L (mg/L= ppm), would ingest 0.7 mg of fluoride. As 80% of total daily fluoride intake comes from water, the total for this child would be 0.88 mg. well under the 1.3 mg and 2.2 mg ULs for these children. The only consequence of children exceeding the UL by any amount that could occur in the absence of any grossly abnormal exposure to fluoride, would be a risk of mild to very mild dental fluorosis.

Fourth. Dr. Banks being a dentist, he should be fully aware that the frequent, consistent exposure of the teeth to low concentrations of fluoride all during the day has been shown to be a very effective decay preventive. How much of this exposure is systemic and how much is topical is irrelevant. There is no other means of consistent and frequent exposure of the teeth to low concentrations of fluoride that is as effective and inexpensive as is water fluoridation.

Fifth. Also, Dr. Banks being a dentist, he should understand full well that there are degrees of dental fluorosis. The “41%” to which he refers is actually composed of 37.1% with mild to very mild dental fluorosis, both of which are barely detectable, benign conditions requiring no treatment, and which have no effect on cosmetics, form, function, or health of teeth. As Kumar, et al, have demonstrated mildly fluorosed teeth to be more resistant to to decay, mild to very mild dental fluorosis is not even considered by many to be undesirable, much less adverse effects.

The other 3.8% are those with moderate dental fluorosis, a condition which manifests as white areas on teeth. The cosmetics alone from dental decay are far worse than any from moderate dental fluorosis, and this does not even take into account the amount of pain, debilitation, and life-threatening infection that is prevented by water fluoridation.

Sixth. “Forced medication” is simply more hogwash that Dr. Banks is regurgitating from biased, antifluoridationist websites. The “forced medication” gambit has been repeatedly attempted in courts by antifluoridationists, and has been rejected each and every time by those courts due its having no merit. There is no need for “dose” control, as water toxicity for humans would be of concern before enough could be consumed to cause adverse effects from 0.7 ppm of fluoride.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

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