Fear, loathing, and tooth decay in Trenton

The City of Trenton recently announced that fluoride is once again being added to water treated at the Trenton Water Works, some eight months after the plant abruptly ran out of the substance.

Of course, the city’s press release trumpeting the resumption of the process blamed the stoppage on upgrades being performed at the water filtration plant, rather than the true culprit – administrative blunders by leadership at the utility and the city government.

While the plant upgrades did mean a shift from dry to liquid fluoride, the real reason the plant ran out of the dry form of the chemical was that the utility’s leadership failed to account for the fact that the employee in charge of ordering and reporting on the state of the fluoride supply was laid off.

Now, normally when an institution lays off an employee its leadership makes sure to account for exactly what that former employee’s responsibilities were, as to not adversely affect the proper operation of the institution.

This type of accounting, however, did not occur at the Trenton Water Works, because no notation was made by the utility leadership that fluoride supplies would run out and someone else needed to take over the duty of ordering more of the substance.

Instead, caution was thrown to the wind, resulting in a lot of belly-aching and angst among city residents and water utility customers in the outlying suburbs.

Of course city officials plan on selling off that revenue-producing suburban system, so there’s no real reason why anyone should expect them to care about the fiscal welfare or dental conditions of city residents or our suburban neighbors.

With that kind of respect, expect more blunders like fluoride-gate in the near future.


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