According to a mandatory public notice posted on the city’s web-site, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality “has notified the City of Venus water system that the drinking water being supplied to customers had exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for fluoride.”
The notice states that the city’s water system exceeded the MCL of four milligrams per liter by a full mg/L.
However, the situation does not constitute an “emergency,” the TCEQ notice states, explaining that “some” people could suffer the effects of excess fluoride after drinking it for a period of “many years.” Those potential effects include “bone disease, including pain and tenderness of the bones.”
Fluoride levels in drinking water of two or more milligrams per liter can negatively affect children’s teeth by causing “mottling,” the notice states, adding that these effects typically occur in children “less than nine years old.” However, those residents with health concerns may want to speak to a doctor about how the situation may affect them, the release states.
Sometimes known as dental fluorosis, mottling “may include brown staining and/or pitting of the teeth, and occurs only in developing teeth before they erupt from the gums,” the TCEQ notice states.
The city and the state are working to correct the problem by blending the city’s ground water -drawn from three wells drilled into the Woodbine and Paluxy Aquifers, which have naturally high levels of fluoride- with 160,000 gallons of surface water a day from Midlothian to lower the fluoride levels, Venus Director of Public Works Mearl Taylor said.
According to the TCEQ, residents do not need to use an alternative water supply; however, Taylor adds, “anyone that has a water well that pulls from those aquifers is going to have to deal with this.
“Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly,” the notice concludes.