Fluoride in Private Drinking Wells
Typically, groundwater is clean and safe for everyone to drink. Occasionally, naturally occurring constituents such as fluoride can be present in groundwater at levels that may pose either a cosmetic or health concern.
In drinking water, fluoride concentrations less than 2 milligrams per liter can be beneficial in helping prevent dental cavities. Fluoride concentrations above 2 milligrams per liter can cause tooth discoloration in children. Fluoride concentrations above 4 milligrams per liter in drinking water can cause health problems, such as bone disease and mottled teeth; at this level fluoride is considered a primary contaminant and should be treated prior to use as drinking water.
Water Quality Testing
Fluoride concentrations in most private drinking water wells in Loudoun County are so low that they cannot be detected. However, fluoride concentrations in a few water wells have been above 2 milligrams per liter and, in very few wells, have shown a fluoride concentration of greater than 4 milligrams per liter.
Dr. David Goodfriend, director of the Loudoun County Health Department, says everyone should know the quality of water they're drinking. The Health Department recommends that well owners know what is in their water and to consider testing their water for fluoride every three years. The cost of testing water for fluoride ranges from $15 to $75.
Residents who are served by public or community water system should contact their water supplier if they have questions about fluoride in the drinking water.
For more information, contact the Environmental Health Division of the Loudoun County Health Department by calling 703-777-0234.