Lead levels in town water have decreased significantly since town officials stopped adding fluoride, commissioners reported at Wednesday’s meeting. They also voted to officially ban fluoridation.
Fluoride itself does not produce high lead levels, but fluoride must be introduced along with fluorosilicic acid, and town officials believe that the acid washes lead from pipe soldering, said Mayor Terrence Best.
When commissioners first had water tested in 1992, some houses had 50 times the accepted limit established by the U.S. EPA, and the average amount measured twice the limit, he said. Commissioners then stopped using fluoride.
The suggested lead limit in water is 15 parts per billion. A May 1993 test showed decreasing levels of lead in water. The high was 136.25 ppb, and the average was 9.25 ppb.
A third test, conducted in November, found the high at 21.25 ppb and the average at 7.11 ppb