Marquette receives huge grant for fluoridation

One Upper Peninsula city has received a record-setting State Grant to upgrade its drinking water system. The project should help prevent one of America’s most common chronic childhood diseases.

ABC 10 News Now Senior Reporter Mike Hoey has that story.

Marquette has just received $24,000 to repair its water fluoridation system. The grant money comes from the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Oral Health Program.

“It’s been proven that the fluoridation is a valuable tool for helping prevent tooth decay,” said Curt Goodman, Marquette Waste & Wastewater Superintendent.

$24.000 is the maximum that a Michigan city can receive in the program. This is the first time in the four-year history of the grants that any city has received that amount.

“I was somewhat surprised. I looked at the grant that was awarded before. It was maybe $2,000 to $5,000. Using the money for outdated systems was well worth it,” Goodman added.

The MDCH says about 90 percent of Michigan communities with their own water system, add fluoride to their water.

Marquette was one of the first communities in the state to do so. Its tap water has been fluoridated since 1951.

“We have two 2,500 gallon tanks that have shown signs of potential leaking, and also metering pumps that add the fluoride to the system,” noted Goodman.

The tanks and pumps are 15 years old and at the end of their operational lifespan.

“I hope to have the tanks refurbished by the middle of June, and hopefully the system back up and running by July,” Goodman finished.

Eight other Michigan cities and townships have also received this year’s fluoridation equipment grants. One of those eight is in the U.P. Saint Ignace has received just shy of $7,300.