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Delaware Code Title 16. Health and Safety § 124. Fluoridation of a water supply

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(a) In order to protect the dental health of all citizens, especially children, the Department of Health and Social Services shall promulgate rules to provide for the addition of fluoride to all municipal water supplies by the owners or official custodians thereof. Such rules shall provide for the addition of fluoride to the water supplies so as to maintain a fluoride content of not less than that currently specified by the Department's regulations.

(1) By November 15, 1998, each municipal water system shall provide to the Department an estimate of the total capital costs to install the required fluoridation treatment and additional operating costs for the ongoing operation for fluoridation treatment.

(2) Subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to those municipalities which are required to comply with the mandates of subsection (a) of this section.

(b) The Division of Public Health shall not require any water supply to be fluoridated which has not been fluoridated before March 26, 1974, until approval of such fluoridation is first obtained in the following manner by the users of such water supply:

(1) When the Division determines that it is in the best interest of the users of a given water supply that such supply shall be fluoridated, it shall notify the administrator, owner or person who controls the water supply and the local government which it serves. Within 60 days from the receipt of such notice, the governing body of the majority of people involved shall conduct a referendum among the people served by the water supply to determine whether or not such fluoridation shall take place. Prior to any such referendum the Division shall conduct an educational program in the community affected on the fluoridation process. The costs of the referendum shall be borne by the said governing body.

(2) Notice of the referendum shall be by the publication of a formal notice embodying the notice received from the Division. Such notice shall be published at least 3 times in a newspaper of general circulation in the area served by the water supply, the last publication to be at least 3 days before the referendum. Such notice shall also include the time and place of voting for the various voting districts involved.

(3) Eligible voters at such referendum shall be any natural person who uses the water supply daily and who is 18 years of age or older. Each such person shall be entitled to 1 vote.

(4) If the area serviced by the water supply has an established local government such government shall conduct the referendum. If 2 or more towns or municipalities are served by the water supply, the referendum shall be conducted simultaneously in each town or municipality by the governing body of that town or municipality. If the governing body is a county and not a town or municipality, the county shall be responsible for all costs of the referendum. The Department of Elections shall conduct the referendum. The referendum shall be by secret ballot and the choice for each voter shall be “For Fluoridation” and “Against Fluoridation.” The water supply shall not be fluoridated if the majority of the ballots cast are against fluoridation.

(5) After a referendum is held, the matter shall be deemed to have been conclusively decided for a period of 3 years from the date of the referendum.

(6) This section shall apply to any municipality within this State that has held a referendum on the question of fluoridation within the last 3 years commencing from March 26, 1974. Those municipalities that have voted not to fluoridate shall not be required to do so, except as provided by this section.

Cite this article: - Delaware Code Title 16. Health and Safety § 124. Fluoridation of a water supply - last updated January 01, 2022 |

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