Is there fluoride in the water?

We do not add fluoride to the drinking water we supply. The water we supply naturally contains between 0.1 and 0.3 mg/l (parts per million) of fluoride, which is not removed during treatment. The maximum concentration of fluoride allowed in the water is 1.5 mg/l. There is no minimum limit.

In some parts of the UK hexafluorosilicic acid is added to the water to artificially increase the level of fluoride in the drinking water. Bristol Water does not currently and has never added hexafluorosilicic acid to the drinking water we supply.

Fluoride occurs naturally in rocks and soils. As water moves through the rocks and soils a small amount of fluoride can enter the water.

This naturally occurring fluoride is not removed by the treatment processes we use to treat the water. Your tap water will contain low levels of this natural fluoride.

These levels are well below the drinking water standard of 1.5 mg/l (milligrams per litre or parts per million). The chart below shows the annual average and maximum levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the drinking water we supply.

Fluoride water graph

The Local Health Authorities are responsible for the decision to artificially add fluoride to the drinking water. We are not currently aware that any of the Local Authorities in the Bristol Water area are considering fluoridation of the water.

If you would like further information about this process please contact your Local Health Authority.


Do you add fluoride to my drinking water?

No, Bristol Water currently doesn’t add fluoride to the drinking water we supply.


Does my drinking water contain fluoride?

Yes, the sources we use to provide drinking water contain low levels of naturally occurring fluoride that are not removed by the water treatment processes. The levels are very low, typically less than 0.6 mg/l and below the drinking water standard of 1.5 mg/l.


Why is fluoride sometimes added to drinking water in the UK?

Fluoride is sometimes added to drinking water in the UK to protect against tooth decay and to improve dental health.


Who decides to add fluoride to drinking water?

Responsibility for the decision to add fluoride to drinking water rests with the Local Health Authority, following a consultation process. Legislation requires us to comply with any such request from the Local Health Authority.


What is changing?

A new Health and Social Care Bill is being considered by the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The proposed new Bill includes changes to legislation relating to fluoridation of public water supplies, specifically changing who is responsible for the decision to add fluoride to the drinking water.

The proposed new Bill will give the responsibility for the decision to add fluoride to drinking water to the Secretary of State. The revenue costs of the schemes would also transfer to the Secretary of State. This will allow central government to directly take responsibility for fluoridation schemes.

Any future decisions on new fluoridation schemes will be subject to funding being secured. The proposed new Bill will also transfer the requirement from local authorities to the Secretary of State to consult water undertakers on whether any fluoridation scheme, or variation or termination to existing schemes are operable and efficient, prior to undertaking any public consultation.