Understanding flouride

Fluoride is naturally present in all water supplies across the UK at different levels.

When water is taken from an underground source where the water has passed through rocks with fluoride containing minerals, such as chalk or sandstone, this is dissolved by the water. The natural background level of most source waters in the UK is below one part per million (mg/l).

Fluoride is added to improve dental health

In some areas, the local health authority can request that fluoride is added to our water to improve dental health. 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 fluoride scheme they must consult the public first.

On 1 April 2013 the Secretary of State for Health became responsible for all existing fluoridation schemes, and local authorities became responsible for proposing and consulting on new schemes or changing existing schemes.

The performance of dosing plants and target levels of fluoride are independently reviewed every month by the relevant health authority.

Health authorities pay for fluoridation

The health authorities pay for any costs related to water fluoridation. Nothing is added to your water bill for this process.

How fluoride is added

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 by European and UK standards.

The fluoride is purchased against high quality criteria and we follow strict guidelines set down by the UK Government to make sure that your water is wonderful, clean and safe to drink.

Fluoridated areas that we supply

The areas that are fluoridated 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 check your water quality to find out how much fluoride is in your water.

Answering common household queries about your water quality