Eureka Springs restaurants prepare to filter water

Friday, August 7, 2015

Since fluoride was added to Eureka Springs' water supply in mid-July, local restaurant owners and residents are researching and purchasing water filtration systems.

Citizens and business owners continue to voice concerns about Carroll-Boone Water District inserting fluoride into the city's water supply.

While the rush for filters is on, social media and letters to the editor in local newspapers echo concerns that CBWD is ignoring the health and safety guidelines mandated by federal and state law while disregarding the health and safety of its customers and operators.

Eureka Springs is considering passing a recent CBWD rate increase on to its customers, many of whom cannot afford the added expense of costly filters.

Several local restaurants either currently have or are planning to purchase water filtration systems.

Local fluoridation opponent Bill King, co-owner of Brews, has suggested that it would be better for Eureka Springs to pull out of CBWD and use the city's old well system. He explained that one well is operable and that others could be repaired and put back online to provide the city with safe, clean drinking water. He said the city would ultimately save money by being independent of CBWD.

"It's very favorable for us to go back on the well system," he said.

King is preparing to initiate a petition that will urge Eureka Springs aldermen to pull out of CBWD and hopes to file it with the city clerk this fall, just ahead of next spring's elections.

"We do have a contract agreement, but I would call it null and void since CBWD is not providing clean, safe water," King said.

In the meantime, local restaurant owners and residents who choose to filter their water may be blindsided with sticker shock. Water filter prices range from about $30 for small gravity filters to hundreds of dollars for sophisticated reverse osmosis filters that claim to remove fluoride and mercury by 95 percent, chlorine and arsenic by 97 percent, and lead and asbestos by 99 percent.

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