Water Quality Report
Fluoride Notice included in 2016 Water Quality Report
At Easton Utilities, we are committed to providing clean, reliable water to our customers. The following information details the fluoride concentration and its potential health effects in the drinking water supplied by Easton Utilities.
Elevated Fluoride Levels Detected in Easton
This is an alert about your drinking water and a cosmetic dental problem that might affect children under nine years of age. At low levels, fluoride can help prevent cavities, but children drinking water containing more than 2 milligrams per liter (mg/l) of fluoride may develop cosmetic discoloration of their permanent teeth (dental fluorosis). The drinking water provided by your community water system (Easton) has had fluoride concentrations of between 0.5 mg/L to 3.43 mg/l, withthe higher levels anticipated when Easton’s stand-by well, located west of Easton Parkway on Glenwood Ave, is operated.
Dental fluorosis, in its moderate or severe forms, may result in a brown staining and or pitting of the permanent teeth. This problem occurs only in developing teeth, before they erupt from the gums. Children under nine should be provided with alternative sources of drinking water or water that has been treated to remove the fluoride to avoid the possibility of staining and pitting of their permanent teeth. You may also want to contact your dentist about proper use by young children of fluoride-containing products. Older children and adults may safely drink the water.
Drinking water containing more than 4 mg/l of fluoride (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standard) can increase your risk of developing bone disease. Your drinking water does not contain more than 4 mg/l of fluoride, but we’re required to notify you when we discover that the fluoride levels in your drinking water exceeds 2 mg/l because of this cosmetic dental problem.
For more information, please see the supplemental information below or call Easton Utilities at 410-822-6110. Some home water treatment units are also available to remove fluoride from drinking water. To learn more about available home water treatment units, you may call NSF International at 1-800-673-6275.
Supplemental Information For Our Customers Regarding Fluoride in Easton’s Drinking Water
The Town of Easton is supplied with drinking water by six groundwater wells. Two of the six wells are approximately 1,200 feet deep and four wells are 1,000 feet deep. Compared to many other wells used for water supplies, these wells have a very high degree of protection from man-made contamination. As a result, the chemical constituents in the water provided by these deep wells are naturally occurring.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance in groundwater. In 2015, three of Easton’s wells produced water with fluoride levels between 2 and 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L). The maximum fluoride level measured in any well during 2015 was 3.43 mg/L. This particular well (#10) is located west of Easton Parkway on Glenwood Ave. It has been placed on standby status, meaning that it would only be operated for more than one hour per week in the event of an extreme water shortage, which Easton has not experienced in many years. The stand-by well is “exercised” for approximately one hour per week in order to ensure that it will deliver water when called upon. The production from this well is minimal and accounted for approximately 0.3 percent of the total water produced by all wells in 2015. The other two wells (#7 & #8) with detectable levels of Fluoride, each had concentrations of 2.37 mg/L. Wells #7 & #8 accounted for an average of 20 percent of the total water produced by all wells in 2015.
In 2015, Easton Utilities conducted sampling and testing of the drinking water for fluoride concentration at 15 locations throughout the town. The sample locations were selected to provide a representative cross section of our water distribution network. In each of the 15 samples the fluoride concentration was less than 0.5 mg/L, which is the lowest concentration measureable by the state certified laboratory that performed the testing.
Because it is possible that some customers may on a rare occasion receive water that contains a fluoride concentration of greater than 2 mg/L, we are required by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to provide all of our customers with the official public notice in the section above.
Looking forward, Easton Utilities is evaluating the feasibility of permanently removing the standby well from service. In order to do this and continue to provide a consistent supply of safe drinking water to our customers, a new well and treatment system will be designed and constructed.