Clark Mason, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
More than 60 years after Healdsburg voters approved adding fluoride to the city’s water to fight tooth decay, they are being asked in Tuesday’s election to once again either approve or reject the practice, foreshadowing a bigger battle that could come at the county level over fluoridation.
Generations of Healdsburg residents have been drinking fluoridated water since 1952, when the city became one of the first in the state to add it, part of a practice that now includes a majority of California communities and about 75 percent of the public water systems in the United States.
Although Healdsburg is the only city in Sonoma County that adds fluoride to its water, the county Department of Health Services is also evaluating potential fluoridation of the county Water Agency’s supply. The agency serves more than 600,000 customers in the North Bay, including Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Windsor, Sonoma, Valley of the Moon and parts of Marin.