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St. Petersburg Awarded Water Fluoridation Award for Second Consecutive Year

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (December 3, 2015) – For the second consecutive year, St. Petersburg’s Water Resources Department is the recipient of a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The award was given at a recent City Council Meeting to Water Resources Director Steven K. Leavitt by Dr. Johnny Johnson JR. DDS, DMD, MS,  representative of Oral Health Florida and the Florida Department of Health. St. Petersburg is the only municipal water supplier in Pinellas County to receive the award for both 2013 and for 2014. 

Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to a level that is effective for promoting good oral health. The award recognizes those communities that achieved excellence in community water fluoridation by maintaining a consistent level of fluoridated water throughout the calendar year. 

The city has had its own water treatment system since the purchase of the Pinellas Water Company and adjacent deep water wells in 1940. Pinellas Water Company originally operated the treatment plant in the Cosme-Odessa region of Hillsborough County which supplied the city with potable water. Growing concerns of over pumping from the Florida Aquifer led to the establishment of Tampa Bay Water (TBW) in 1998 as a regional wholesale water supplier. TBW supplies member utilities with a treated mixture of groundwater, surface water and desalinated water.

To ensure that the city provides the highest quality drinking water to its residents, St. Petersburg still operates and maintains the water treatment facility in Cosme. There, the source water undergoes additional treatment including aeration, softening, filtration, disinfection and the addition of fluoride. The facility has a capacity of treating 68 million gallons of water per day. Water is transported approximately 25 miles to St. Petersburg via two water mains. Currently, St. Petersburg water customers use about 28 million gallons of potable water daily.

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