Required Language for SCL Exceedance of Fluoride

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has notified the HARRIS COUNTY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT 18, TX1013479 that the drinking water being supplied to customers has exceeded the Secondary Constituent Level (SCL) of 2.0 mg/L for fluoride.

This is an alert about your drinking water and 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 cosmetic discoloration of their permanent teeth (dental fluorosis). The drinking water provided by your community water system HARRIS COUNTY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT 18 has a fluoride concentration of 2.3 mg/L.

Dental fluorosis, in its moderate or severe forms, may result in a brown staining and/or pitting of the permanent teeth. This problem occurs only in developing teeth, before they erupt from the gums. Children under nine should be provided with alternate 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. You may also want to contact your dentist about proper use by young children of fluoride containing products. Older children and adults may safely drink the water.

Drinking water containing more than 4 mg/L of fluoride (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standard) can increase your risk of developing bone disease. Your drinking water does not contain more than 4 mg/L of fluoride, but we’re required to notify you when we discover that the fluoride levels in your drinking water exceed 2 mg/L because of this cosmetic dental problem.

For more information, please call Katie Hargrove of Harris County Improvement District 18 at (281) 350-0895. Some home water treatment units are also available to remove fluoride from drinking water.