FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 24, 2023
COLUMBIA, S.C. ― The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the South Carolina Rural Water Association have provided six mini-grants to public water providers in South Carolina for needed upgrades to continue to provide fluoridated water to their customers. The six water systems are City of Aiken; Darlington County Water & Sewer Authority; Georgetown County Water & Sewer District; Laurens Commission of Public Works; City of Camden; and City of Cayce.
DHEC and the South Carolina Rural Water Association received funding for these mini-grants through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) State Actions to Improve Oral Health Outcomes. The mini-grants were awarded after equipment upgrades for supporting community water fluoridation were identified as being needed during site visits to several water systems.
“Investing resources into communities to sustain water fluoridation is one of the best ways to maintain the oral health of children and adults,” said Mike Tredway, director of DHEC’s Division of Oral Health. “It’s an equitable way to help prevent dental decay among all socioeconomic groups.”
The CDC states that drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities by about 25% in children and adults. Because of the success of this method to decrease dental health issues among Americans, community water fluoridation has been named one of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th century.
Additional mini-grants of varying amounts, depending on a system’s equipment needs, are expected to be available again in 2023 to support additional water suppliers in the state.
“The City of Cayce is committed to water fluoridation, and with this funding we were able to replace a 30-year feeder system. This will help us to continue providing fluoridated water for our community,” said Vince Osborne, superintendent of the City of Cayce’s water treatment facilities. “I encourage other water systems with aging equipment and equipment issues to contact the South Carolina Rural Water Association about this funding.”
Public water system customers can contact their water provider to ask about fluoride levels. The CDC also provides several resources about safety, benefits and more at cdc.gov/fluoridation.
DHEC’s Division of Oral Health works to promote good oral health for all children, teens and adults in South Carolina. To learn more about oral health, visit scdhec.gov/oralhealth.
The South Carolina Rural Water Association is a non-profit trade association that assists water and wastewater systems with on-site technical assistance, training and much more. Learn more at scrwa.org.