Austin’s drinking water is carefully fluoridated to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. Austin Water monitors the addition of fluoride at our water treatment plants and measures the concentration of fluoride in the finished water to assure that it is within the regulatory limits.

Austin Water's annual water quality report lists the amount of fluoride in Austin's drinking water.


Fluoride is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in many ground waters. In the 1920s and 1930s a link was made between fluoride concentrations in drinking water and a reduction in tooth decay. In 1945, municipalities began adding fluoride to drinking water to fight tooth decay. Follow up studies in these communities over 13-15 years showed a 50-70% reduction in cavities.

Because of the potential public health benefits to residents, the City of Austin held a public vote on fluoridation in the early 1970s. The referendum passed with the support of the community, and Austin Water began adding fluoride to the water on February 2, 1973.

As a result, Austin Water has nearly thirty years of operational experience with fluoride.


Fluoride and Infants

Water fluoridated at a level optimal for oral health (as is used in Austin) poses no known health risks for infants. However, some children may develop enamel fluorosis, a cosmetic condition where faint white markings or streaks may appear on the teeth. Fluorosis can affect both baby teeth and permanent teeth while they’re forming under the gums.

If you’re concerned about fluorosis, you can minimize your baby’s exposure to fluoride in several ways. Breast feeding is the best source of nutrition for infants. If breast feeding is not possible, you can minimize fluoride exposure by using ready-to-feed formula. You can also alternate tap water and non-fluoridated water for formula preparation, or mix powered or liquid infant formula concentrate with low-fluoride water most or all of the time. If you use only non-fluoridated water, such as purified, deionized or distilled water to prepare your baby’s formula your doctor may recommend fluoride supplements beginning at six months.