Wolfforth is not the only city in Texas to receive a letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordering it to decrease the amount of fluoride in the city’s water supply.
According to Joe Hubbard, a media relations official with the EPA offices in Dallas, New Home and Morton received similar administrative orders from the EPA in April 2013.
Both cities have until October 2014, or 18 months, to come into compliance.
Wolfforth received a letter on March 3 from the EPA ordering the city to lower fluoride levels in city water within 18 months.
According to the EPA letter, the maximum allowable amount of fluoride in water is 4 milligrams per liter. Wolfforth, the letter states, has several wells producing water ranging from 4.68 to 5.58 milligrams per liter.
Wolfforth received a previous letter from the EPA in July 2011 regarding arsenic in the city’s drinking water.
Jamie Clem, who identified herself as a city clerk with New Home, said that city also received an arsenic letter and is looking into ways to filter the water supply.
Morton city manager Brenda Shaw said her city is using the same engineering service as Wolfforth, OJD Engineering.
Like Wolfforth, Morton city officials would like to build an electrodialysis reversal, or EDR, system to treat the city water and remove both arsenic and fluoride.
“They have not approved what we have turned in for our EDR system yet,” Shaw said. “We’ve already sent in what we’re planning on doing, but they have not approved anything yet.”
Shaw said Morton just received an arsenic order from the EPA this month.
City residents have had few complaints about the water problems, Shaw said.
“We send out the (fluoride) notices quarterly,” Shaw said, referring to warnings the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires be sent to residents about the amount of fluoride in the water.
Shaw said she cannot speak for the residents on whether they are concerned about fluoride or arsenic, but no one has come into city hall with questions or complaints.
But coming up with a plan to alleviate the water problem has been hard, she said.
“We’re having to look at coming up with over $1 million, so it’s pretty stressful,” she said.