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California state law requires water agencies with more than 10,000 water service connections (which includes the City of San Diego) fluoridate their drinking water supplies. However, a public water system is exempt from fluoridating until sufficient outside funding is available. Both the California Attorney General and the City Attorney’s Office opined that when sufficient funding became available, San Diego Municipal Code Section 67.0101, which prohibits the City from fluoridation, would be preempted by state law.

In June 2008, the City Council accepted an offer of funding from the First 5 Commission of San Diego County for the purpose of fluoridating the City’s public water supply. The Commission’s offer of up to $3,927,016 is for full funding of the capital costs and up to two years of operating and maintenance expenses necessary to implement fluoridation at each of the City’s three water treatment plants.

As a result of state law and the availability of funding, the City was scheduled to begin fluoridating its public water supply by November 2010.

Actual fluoridation began in February of 2011. Now the City receives fluoridated treated water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California through the San Diego County Water Authority.

In August of 2011 Citizens for Safe Drinking Water filed suit against the Metropolitan Water District in federal court.