Fluoride Action Network

Pinon Pines Mutual Water Company serves water with high fluoride levels (2.5 to 3.2 mg/L)

Source: The Mountain Enterprise | January 18th, 2008

Shareholders of the Pinon Pines Mutual Water Company were informed by their board of directors on December 21, 2007 that recent rain and snow storms did not recharge the water table sufficiently to alter the pumping schedule that has been in use all summer. That schedule will remain in effect. Water is being blended from a high fluoride well with one that is below maximum contaminant levels of allowable fluoride. Tested levels of blended fluoride have been consistent at 2.7 mg/L. This message was also distributed:

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires that every three months, we provide you with mandatory warnings for fluoride, since levels in the water supplied by the Pinon Pines Mutual Water Company will exceed the fluoride primary MCL of 2 mg/L for the foreseeable future. You can see the verbatim warning on our website at www.pinonpines.com.

Briefly, it warns you that drinking water with high levels of fluoride pose 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 discoloration of their permanent teeth.

The drinking water provided by the Pinon Pines Mutual Water Company has a fluoride concentration ranging from 2.5 to 3.2 mg/L. Brown staining and/or pitting of the developing permanent teeth, before they erupt from the gums, may occur. Children under nine should be provided with alternative sources of drinking water or water that has been treated to remove the fluoride. Older children and adults may safely drink the water. Drinking water containing more than 4 mg/L of fluoride can increase your risk of developing bone disease. We do not recommend boiling water because that will increase the concentration of fluoride.


Some home treatment systems are available that remove fluoride from drinking water. Call the California Department of Public Health Water Treatment Device Unit at (916) 449-5600.

To date, the Water Company has received no information on the funding sources to which we have applied to construct a treatment plant or develop other means of providing water that meets state standards.

System Upgrades

Some may have noticed that the large generator by Well 5 is missing. The engine on that piece of equipment could not be modified to meet EPA emission standards. The engine is being replaced by one that meets all emission standards and will do so in the foreseeable future. The company doing the work is expediting the work so the generator can be available for emergency use in case of an extended power outage. We expect it to be back before the end of the year.

The Water Company is entering the computer age slowly as now the wells are being turned on and off via a wireless internet connection. The monthly fee for use of telephone wires has been eliminated. Further upgrading and monitoring of the well controls is being examined.

For More Information

Contact any of the Water Board Members if you have any questions. We are happy to be of assistance: Lee Benda, President, 245-3636; Debbie Smith, Vice President, 245-3686; Karen Laumbach, Secretary, 245-1793; Mike Hall, Treasurer, 245-2144; Roger Huff, At Large; 245-3078; Terry Liebel, Water System Operator, 245-4420 (this is also the maintenance number).