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Excess Fluoride Levels Identified As Contaminant in Franklin Water

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 12:02 AM

Posted by exploreClarion

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – The mystery behind problems with Franklin’s drinking water is one step closer to being solved.

Four days into a “Do Not Drink Water” warning issued to some Franklin residents, city officials are shedding light on the issue.

A release issued early Monday evening by Franklin City Manager Tracy Jamieson indicates a mechanical malfunction on or around February 1, 2018, triggered the release of higher than normal fluoride levels into Franklin’s water system.

The malfunction is being called a violation of state drinking water standards.

“We believe an over-feed of fluoride was introduced into the Franklin Water System through the Barrett Flats Water Treatment Plant,” said the City in the release.

The release continued, “This occurred due to a mechanical malfunction on the chemical feed system, which was not discovered until the mid-morning of February 8, 2018. As a result, the fluoride levels exceeded the State’s acceptable levels for fluoride.”

The maximum contaminant level (MCL) in Pennsylvania for fluoride is 2.0 mg/L.

The city stressed that this is not an emergency situation but “an alert about your drinking water and a cosmetic dental problem that might affect children under nine (9) 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).”

“In its moderate or severe forms, it may result in brown staining or pitting of permanent teeth. This problem occurs only in developing teeth, before they erupt from the gums. Drinking water containing more than 4 mg/L of fluoride can also increase your risk of developing of bone disease.”

Children under 9 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.

Residents are able to use the water for laundry and bathing. In fact, they are encouraged to do so to allow the water to turn over more quickly in the system.

The complete release has been provided below.

Cases of bottled water continue to be available to affected residents at the Franklin Fire Department. There is also water available for people to collect and use for non-drinking purposes. Anyone unable to get to the fire department can call the city at 814-437-1485 to arrange for delivery.

The Franklin YMCA is continuing to make their showers available to affected residents with identification.

The city will be posting updates to the City of Franklin website, while also notifying local media, as soon as more information becomes available.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER – FLUORIDE MAXIMUM CONTAMINANT LEVEL (MCL) EXCEEDANCE

TO: People Served By The City Of Franklin Water System

The City of Franklin water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this incident was not an emergency, as our customers, you have the right to know what happened and what we are doing to correct it.

On or about February 1, 2018, we believe an over-feed of fluoride was introduced into the Franklin Water System through the Barrett Flats Water Treatment Plant. This occurred due to a mechanical malfunction on the chemical feed system, which was not discovered until the mid-morning of February 8, 2018. As a result, the fluoride levels exceeded the State’s acceptable levels for fluoride. The maximum contaminant level (MCL) in Pennsylvania for fluoride is 2.0 mg/L.

What Should I Do?

This is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately. This is an alert about your drinking water and a cosmetic dental problem that might affect children under nine (9) 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). In its moderate or severe forms, it may result in brown staining or pitting of permanent teeth. This problem occurs only in developing teeth, before they erupt from the gums. Drinking water containing more than 4 mg/L of fluoride can also increase your risk of developing of bone disease.

Children under 9 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.

Residents are able to use the water for laundry and bathing. In fact, they are encouraged to do so to allow the water to turn over more quickly in the system. Bottled water is still available to all affected area residents that prefer an alternate source of drinking water during the process. It can be picked up at the Fire Department, 113 – 13th Street, between the hours of 6 AM and 10 PM. The elderly and those unable to get to the fire station may call 432-3780 and request a delivery.

What Has Been Done?

The City of Franklin has been working with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to conduct sample testing of water throughout the system. The current fluoride system has been temporarily shut down until levels are brought back within the PA standards. City crews have been flushing hydrants to remove pockets of high fluoride levels in the water system, such as Third Ward, Oak Hill and Rocky Grove, and water tanks are being drawn down and filled with new water.

As soon as all testing comes back at acceptable levels, you will be notified of such and any restrictions will be withdrawn.

For questions and further information, call:

Police: 814-437-1644
Fire: 814-432-3780

During the Hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, call 437-1922


Copyright © 2018 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

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