… Nearly a week into the “Do Not Drink Water” warning issued to some Franklin residents in the affected areas of Third Ward, Rocky Grove, and Oak Hill, city officials released more details on what lead to the issue.
According to Franklin City Manager Tracy Jamieson, it apparently started when three separate pieces of equipment at the Barrett Flats Water Treatment Plant all simultaneously failed on or around February 1, 2018, triggering the release of higher than normal fluoride levels into Franklin’s water system.
A release issued early Monday evening by Jamieson’s office noted that the malfunction, “was not discovered until the mid-morning of February 8, 2018. As a result, the fluoride levels exceeded the State’s acceptable levels for fluoride.”…
… Jamieson explained that the discoloration was part of what made the issue somewhat hard to diagnose, but as it turned out, it was also a key to diagnosing the issue.
“When a high level of fluoride is introduced into the system, it acts as an acid that basically strips any metals it can get to, and the bluish green color indicates copper and aluminum in the lines,” Jamieson said.
The copper could easily come from old copper pipes within homes or running from the water mains to homes, but the aluminum was more unusual. When a higher than usual level of aluminum was noted in the water samples, industrial contamination was considered as a possibility.
The DEP was instrumental in pinpointing the real source.
Their records showed that during the time period when the city got its water from French Creek, it used an aluminum-based coagulant. Some remnants of this coagulant ended up lying dormant in the system years after it was no longer in use. When the high level of fluoride was introduced into the system, it stirred up the dormant aluminum left behind.
The city continues to stress that this is not an emergency situation but simply “an alert about your drinking water and a cosmetic dental problem that might affect children under nine (9) 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).”
… Children under 9 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…
*To read the full article go to http://explorevenango.com/franklin-water-situation-remains-murky/