Fluoride Action Network

Gillette: Elevated fluoride levels while the Madison pipeline is shutdown

Source: Basin Radio Network | January 15th, 2015 | Press Release: The City of Gillette
Location: United States, Wyoming

The City of Gillette will shutdown the Madison Pipeline through March 31st, 2015. The shutdown is necessary to tie in and connect the existing Madison Pipeline to the new pipeline, and the City will rely on its in-town wells during the shutdown.*

Elevated Fluoride Levels – Please read if you have, or care for, children ages 8 and under

During this time the City will rely on its in-town wells (Fort Union and Fox Hills Formation) to produce drinking water for City water customers.  Fluoride occurs naturally in the in-town wells and is monitored 24/7.   Fluoride is good in small doses, but larger doses can be harmful, especially to children under nine years old.

The City of Gillette asks residents to work together to conserve water during this needed three month shut down to keep fluoride at acceptable levels.  The goal is to keep water usage as far below 3 million gallons per day (MGD) as possible.  From January to March, 2014 the average daily water usage was 2.72 MGD.  That is right where we want the water usage to be this year.

Fluoride levels will be posted weekly on the City’s website (www.gillettewy.gov), Sunday’s News Record, Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The EPA primary maximum containment level (MCL) for fluorides is 4.0 mg/L.  The City will not exceed the primary MCL but we anticipate exceeding the secondary MCL (2.0 mg/L) during the course of the project. The secondary MCL is a recommended target, not an enforceable standard. Please see the EPA Public Notice below for more information:

This is an alert about your drinking water and a cosmetic dental problem that might affect children under nine 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).

Dental fluorosis in its moderate or severe forms may result in a brown staining and or pitting of the permanent teeth. This problem occurs only in developing teeth, before they erupt from the gums. Children under nine 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. You may also want to contact your dentist about proper use by young children of fluoride-containing products. Older children and adults may safely drink the water.

Drinking water containing more than 4 mg/l of fluoride (the US Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standard) can increase your risk of developing bone disease. Your drinking water does not contain more than 4 mg/l of fluoride, but we’re required to notify you when we discover that the fluoride levels in your drinking water exceed 2 mg/l because of this cosmetic dental problem.

For more information, please call The City of Gillette Water Division, at (307) 686-5276. Some home water treatment units are also available to remove fluoride from drinking water. To learn more about available home water treatment units, you may call NSF International at 1-877-8-NSF-HELP.

The City of Gillette has been in contact with the Campbell County School District (CCSD), and CCSD will provide water to elementary school students ages 8 and under during the Madison Pipeline shutdown.  The school district will send a letter home to parents prior to the Christmas break explaining their efforts.

Another item to note: with the reliance on the in town water wells from January 1st through March 31st, City water will be much softer.  Please adjust your water heater and/or water conditioner settings accordingly during the shutdown.

This shutdown is necessary for the construction of the new Madison Pipeline and highlights why an additional pipeline is necessary to serve City water customers.

For more information contact the City of Gillette’s Water Division at (307) 686-5276.

*The Madison Pipeline was shutdown from November 1, 2010 through May 1, 2011 for maintenance, and the City relied on its in-town wells during that shutdown.  Water conservation is the key.  Please visit the water conservation page and learn what you can do to conserve water during this shutdown.