The city of Elkhart had to shut down one of its wells that provides water to half of the city after they discovered elevated levels of fluoride.
The city is trying to find out how and why it happened.
The discovery was made Thursday at the well field. Operators at the site regularly check the chlorine, fluoride, and phosphorus levels of the water running through the system.
“At his rounds Thursday morning, our operator discovered that we had an excessive level of fluoride at the well field,” explained Lynn Newvine a utility environmental officer. “The well field was shut down, meaning there was no water production coming from the field and no more fluoride entering the system.”
The well field was reopened at 7:30 Thursday night.
“But the fluoride pumps have been shut down and will not be restarted until we find out how the problem originated,” Newvine told WSBT News.
The city is still trying to track down the source of the problem, and what caused it in the first place.
“We’ll do trouble shooting until we find out the cause of the problem,” Newvine said.
“In the meantime, the citizens can breathe and drink easily because our water is mixed with all the other well fields from around the city and it’s diluted and mixed and clean and safe,” said Mayor David Miller.
Early on before the problem was discovered residents did notice a difference in their drinking water.
“I could actually almost smell it and taste it. It’s different,” said Jack Donis, who uses city water. “Of course I realize that you’ve got to have fluoride in the water for the teeth and so forth. I hope the city solves its problem quickly.”
The fluoride levels were above EPA limits. They say drinking the water for a short time will not cause any health problems. However, drinking it over a long period of time can have a negative affect on bone health.