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Fluoride: Drinking Water

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many instances of too much fluoride entering the water supply in relation to each water (a) authority and (b) company have been reported since 1997. (279855)

I have been asked to reply.

The European standard for the maximum permitted level of fluoride in drinking water (1.5mg/l) is enshrined in the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 (as amended). The Drinking Water Inspectorate is the enforcement body for these regulations.

Water authorities ceased to exist on privatisation of the water industry in 1989. Water companies are required to notify the Inspectorate of any breach of regulatory standards and the Inspectorate independently assesses the actions taken by the company.

Since 1997 there have been three occasions when the Inspectorate has been notified of fluoride exceeding the standard in England or Wales, as follows:

Occasions of fluoride exceeding the standard

Water company

1997

None

1998

None

1999

None

2000

1

Three Valleys Water

2001

None

2002

None

2003

None

2004

1

Hartlepool Water

2005

None

2006

None

2007

None

2008

1

Severn Trent Water