CR KEITH JOHNSON: Independent testing needed.
CR KEITH JOHNSON: Independent testing needed.

Rous to order fluoride testing

ROUS WATER will arrange for independent testing of fluoride chemicals long before they are added to the region’s water supply.

Moving the motion at yesterday’s Rous Water committee meeting, Ballina councillor Keith Johnson said the water authority should not rely on independent testing of the chemicals – sodium fluoride and sodium silicofluoride – that were arranged by the supplier.

“Often you find ‘independent’ used in the way that the supplier will arrange for independent testing,” he said.

“That would be like asking the accused to arrange for their own imprisonment.

“It is not independent if the supplier starts the process of sending a test in because if, for whatever reason, you do get a rogue supplier trying to cover their tracks this would give them the opportunity to substitue a good sample.

“As a president of the United States once said: trust, trust, trust by all means, but verify.”

Rous Water voted in April to add fluoride to the region’s water supply amid much public controversy and under legal pressure from the NSW Department of Health.

Each batch of the two chemicals will now be tested before they are delivered to the water authority to ensure they comply with Australian and international standards.

Rous Water technical services director Wayne Franklin said this would add about $10,000 annually to the cost of the two chemicals.

The testing will be in addition to requiring that the supplier is accredited to Australian standards.

Cr Johnson said it was important to do the testing while the chemicals were still in the hands of the supplier so that Rous was not left with sub-standard chemicals.


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