Riverside receives public health award

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Riverside received slightly belated recognition from state and county health officials on Monday night, Jan. 18 for an unusual reason: its fluoride levels.

“Water fluoridation helps prevent about 25% of dental cavities in adults,” Washington County I-Smile Coordinator Martha Hernandez said as she presented the award at Monday night’s city council meeting. “The CDC sends out this award to the water system that has an optimal of water fluoridation, which is seven milligrams per liter, for a consecutive 12 months of the year.”

Although the award has been granted in Washington County before, Hernandez said the occasion was the first she knew of for the city of Riverside.

The award, despite being presented in early 2021, was earned in 2019, but Hernandez said it couldn’t be presented until now, since state and public health attention was focused elsewhere last summer when it would have typically been announced.

“This was my first opportunity to deliver it to the Riverside water operator,” Hernandez said. “I didn’t want to just mail it or send it to him, I really just wanted to present it so that the community knows the work they’re doing.”

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