The City of Gillette is not expecting fluoride levels in the city’s water supply to reach dangerous levels before the Madison pipeline comes back online May 1, but it has a plan just in case.
If fluoride levels in Gillette’s water reach 3.5 milligrams per liter, the city will stop work on the Madison pipeline and return it to working order as fast as possible, according to city spokesman Joe Lunne.
The Environmental Protection Agency stipulates that if fluoride levels in drinking water reach 4 milligrams per liter, the public needs to immediately be warned not to drink the water.
The city hopes by taking action at 3.5 milligrams per liter, it can have the Madison water, which is low in fluoride, back online before a dangerous fluoride level is reached. It is expected take about four to five days to recharge the pipeline, Lunne said.
The maintenance work on the pipeline that is not finished would be completed at another time, probably after the new Madison pipeline comes online in 2014.
The public has done a great job of reducing its water usage this winter, and that has been a big help for the city in completing the maintenance work on the pipeline, Lunne said.
“The city is carefully monitoring the fluoride levels of city water and will continue to report the water usage and fluoride levels to the public on a weekly basis,” Lunne said in an e-mail. “With just seven weeks left, if we all work together and remain conscientious of our water usage, we can make it to May 1 and get the project completed.”