VERNON TOWNSHIP — Meadville Area Water Authority has received its operating permit for the fluoridation system and will soon begin sending out notifications of impending fluoridation to health care providers in its service area.

Authority officials said they did not yet know exactly when fluoridation will begin. The letters to doctors and dentists in the area will include a start date, they said, and a public notice will be published as well.

MAWA consulting engineer Tom Thompson said the state Department of Environmental Protection sent two teams to inspect the fluoridation system over the past two months and that the operation permit was issued July 3. The dual inspections are a standard practice, according to Thompson.

Informing health care providers of impending fluoridation is recommended by DEP, Thompson said.

In addition to beginning the final steps prior to fluoridation, the authority also acknowledged receipt of a grant from the Pennsylvania Coalition for Oral Health, a Delmont-based nonprofit. The $10,000 grant covers the entire cost of two unused fluoride analyzers purchased last year from the city of Franklin.

Officials in Franklin had purchased the analyzers following an equipment malfunction that led to fluoride levels in excess of state-imposed limits. Before the analyzers could be put in service, Franklin’s General Authority voted to stop fluoridation entirely.

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