Fluoride occurs in drinking water across the globe naturally. When water is taken from an underground source where the water has passed through rocks with fluoride containing minerals in them such as chalk or sandstone, this is dissolved by the water. The natural background level of most source waters in the UK is below 1 part per million (mg/l)
Fluoride is added to our water in some areas at the request of local health authorities. When we add fluoride we increase the natural background levels to 1 part per million (1 mg/l) to make it the same as areas that naturally have fluoride present. If a health authority wants to introduce a new scheme they must consult the public first.
On 1st April 2013 the Secretary of State for Health became responsible for all existing fluoridation schemes, and local authorities became responsible for proposing and undertaking consultation on new schemes or changing existing schemes. The performance of dosing plants and achievement of target levels of fluoride in water supplies is independently reviewed every month by the relevant health authority.
The health authorities pay for any costs related to water fluoridation. Nothing is added to your water bill for this process.
Fluoride is added as a diluted solution or powder at the water treatment works. Special control systems make sure it doesn't exceed the maximum allowed level from European standards. The fluoride is purchased against high quality criteria and we follow strict guidelines set down by the Government to make sure that your water is wonderful, clean and safe to drink.
The areas that we fluoridate can change from time to time according to our agreements with the local health authorities. In general around 45% of the water we supply is fluoridated. You can view the fluoride map (PDF) to see if we add fluoride to your water supply.
Alternatively, you can also use the water quality search to see how much fluoride is in your water.