Corrective action has already been taken.
NEWPORT — Elevated fluoride levels were observed at one of the city’s water treatment plants in May, according to a press release from the Department of Public Utilities.
Fluoride can help prevent cavities at low levels, but drinking water with fluoride levels above two milligrams per liter (mg/l) can lead to a cosmetic dental problem that affects children under 9 years old. According to the press release, the maximum fluoride level found in the city’s Station 1 Water Treatment Plant reached 2.16 mg/l.
Corrective actions were immediately taken by the plant after these levels were found, and increased distribution system monitoring took place until the entire system returned to the EPA recommended fluoride standard of 0.7 mg/l. The city is required to notify water customers of the event.
A public notice released by the city of Newport said that children under 9 should be provided with alternative sources of drinking water in order to prevent the possibility of developing dental fluorosis when fluoride levels are elevated. This condition can lead to the staining and pitting of this age group’s permanent teeth.
Although elevated fluoride levels can result in this cosmetic issue, this fluoride violation is a Tier 3 violation of the drinking water regulations, which according to the EPA poses little or no risk to consumers. Older children and adults can safely drink the water, according to the press release.
Water division personnel were initially alerted to this issue on May 4. The amount of fluoride found during a two and a half hour period that evening violates the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level for Fluoride, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets at 2.0 mg/l.
Customers should expect to receive a notice notifying them of this violation in their June water bills. For more information about this issue, residents can contact James Roberts, supervisor of water quality and production for the Newport Water Division, at (401) 845-5825.
*Original article online at https://www.newportri.com/news/20190605/elevated-fluoride-levels-found-in-newport-water-treatment-plant-in-may
Other information on this event:
June 1, 2019, The Notice that was sent to water customers with their June bills
June 4, 2019, Newport Water Customers to Receive Notice of Elevated Fluoride Levels in June Bills, City of Newport website.