Silver Consolidated Schools will provide bottled water to its students in Cliff due to an elevated amount of fluoride found in the school’s water system.

Superintendent William Hawkins said the district was notified by the state Tuesday of the results of a routine Dec. 18 test of the Cliff Schools’ well water. He said that reflects a typical turnaround time for receiving test results.

The tested water was found to have a fluoride concentration of 2.7 milligrams per liter. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s water standards say a concentration of more than 2 milligrams per liter can cause discoloration and pitting in the developing teeth of children aged 9 and younger, and requires notification.

The maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water, according to the EPA standards, is 4 milligrams per liter, as higher amounts can cause bone and joint damage.

Hawkins said the district shared an informational flyer with parents through ParentSquare on Wednesday evening, which was also posted on the district website. The flyer explained the test results and what action the district is taking.

“What we’re going to do while the fluoride levels off is we’re going to take some extra safety precautions,” he said.

While the buildings at Cliff Schools have water bottle stations that provide filtered water, Hawkins said the district will encourage students to bring their water bottles filled from home, as filters on the water bottle stations might not remove enough fluoride.

“We’re also going to provide additional purchased bottled water from town until the test results come back below 2.7,” he said.

“Our district is also going to be looking to serving our reverse osmosis treatment center that’s within the campus as well,” said Victor Oaxaca, the district’s director of maintenance.

Fluoride can occur naturally in drinking water, according to the EPA. Hawkins and Oaxaca said the district would work with its testing contractor, Dragonfly Enterprises, to mitigate the fluoride levels.—JUNO OGLE

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