Portland Drinking Water Fluoridation, Measure 26-151 (May 2013)

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A Portland Drinking Water Fluoridation measure was decisively defeated on the May 21, 2013, election ballot in Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah Counties, which are in Oregon.

This measure would have required the fluoridation of the Portland drinking water supply.[1]

Election results

DefeateddMeasure 26-151
County: Yes No
Votes  % Votes  %
Clackamas County 107 45.3% 129 54.7%
Multnomah County 55,527 39.45% 85,210 60.55%
Washington County 154 49.36% 158 50.64%
Totals: 55,788 39.27% 85,497 60.73%
These election results are from the Clackamas County elections office, Multnomah County elections office and the Washington County elections office.

Text of measure

Question on the ballot:

Shall Portland fluoridate its drinking water supply?[1][2]


Portland supplies drinking water to city residents and businesses and to several other municipalities and water districts

outside Portland. Portland currently does not add fluoride to its drinking water supply.

This measure requires Portland to fluoridate Portland’s drinking water supply. The measure requires fluoridation at the levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Oregon Health Authority intended to reduce tooth decay and promote oral health. The measure is a referral of an Ordinance adopted by the Council. Although the Ordinance requires fluoridation of Portland’s drinking water supply by March 1, 2014, the actual date of implementation of fluoridation will depend on the effective date of this measure. The fluoride must meet standards of the American Water Works Association. The measure requires record-keeping related to quantities of water treated and the type and amounts of fluoride used. The measure also requires the City to conduct tests for fluoride in treated and untreated water in accordance with state and federal recommendations. The measure funds fluoridation through water user fees.[1][2]


Below are statements in support of this proposition:

Yes on 26-151

For Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids, and a Healthy Portland Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland is a grassroots coalition of over 85 community and health organizations urging you to vote yes on Measure 26-151, which will finally bring water fluoridation to Portland.

Here’s why: We Are in a Dental Health Crisis In the Portland Metro area, 21% of our kids suffer from untreated dental decay. That’s 40% higher than kids in Seattle, where they have water fluoridation. Too many Portlanders are needlessly suffering from severe pain and infection. Water Fluoridation Works.

Fluoride is a mineral that is already naturally present in our water. By simply adjusting the existing levels of fluoride in our water to the level recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services, we can decrease the rate of dental decay in Portland by over 25%. Water fluoridation is proven to safely prevent and even reverse tooth decay at a minimal cost. It’s more effective than any other alternative and all kids and adults benefit, regardless of income level.

Water Fluoridation Saves Money

For every $1 invested in water fluoridation, cities experience an average of $38 in reduced dental costs. In Portland, fluoridation will save at least $20 million in dental care costs annually. Dental work can be expensive. Less decay means more money in your pocketbook. But that’s not all: our dental health crisis leads to lost school days, lost work days, and lost productivity in our local economy. These costs we all pay would be significantly less with water fluoridation.

Water Fluoridation has Overwhelming Support

From Health Organizations and Leaders We Trust Every major health organization that has taken a position supports water fluoridation at the optimal level recommended in Measure 26-151. See the rest of your Voter Pamphlet and the entire list of supporters at HealthyKidsHealthyPortland.org/supporters.

Get the Facts There is overwhelming evidence that water fluoridation is the right thing to do. Learn more at HealthyKidsHealthyPortland.org (This information furnished by K.J. Lewis Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland)[1][2]

For more arguments in favor of this measure see the County Voter's Guide.


No statement was submitted in opposition to this proposition. If you have an argument that you would like posted here please email editor@ballotpedia.org.

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Clackamas County May 21, 2013 Voter’s Guide
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.