The Santa Clara Valley Water District (District) manages an integrated water resources system that includes drinking water, flood protection, and stewardship of streams in Santa Clara County. The District provides wholesale water to water retailers that include local municipalities and water utilities, like San Jose Water Company, who then deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses throughout the County.
The District recently approved fluoridation of the water supply at its three water treatment plants. Water fluoridation is simply a process in which naturally occurring fluoride levels in drinking water are adjusted to an optimal level recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service (0.7 – 1.2 parts per million) for the prevention of tooth decay.
The District’s fluoridation efforts may take many years to complete. Upon the completion, it is anticipated that approximately half of SJWC’s service area will receive sub-optimal fluoride levels while the other half will not see any change to its water supply. This is largely due to the fact that SJWC’s supplies come from many sources with the District’s portion accounting for only about 50%.
For over 145 years, SJWC has provided exceptional customer service and maintained an exemplary water quality compliance record. The Company has historically maintained a neutral position on water fluoridation. Our primary goal is to provide water that meets or exceeds all applicable federal and state water quality regulations. SJWC does not currently fluoridate its water supply although very low levels of naturally occurring fluoride are present (for more information, please see Consumer Confidence Report).
California law (Assembly Bill 733) requires that water systems with more than 10,000 connections fluoridate their supply only if funding for capital and ongoing operation and maintenance of the system is provided by a source other than the utility or its customers. The Health Trust and the California Dental Association have approached SJWC and expressed a willingness to seek the necessary funding to fluoridate our water supply. We have participated with the Health Trust to evaluate the regulatory, operational, financial, and technical challenges associated with fluoridating a large, technically complex urban water system. As required and to comply with all drinking water laws and regulations, SJWC will fluoridate the water supply if the necessary outside funding is provided.
SJWC will continue to collaborate with the Health Trust and other organizations on this issue and provide more information to customers as it becomes available. Additional resources on fluoridation are available below. For questions regarding dental health, including information on fluoride supplements, please consult your dental care provider.