Floride and water quality

Fluorides are compounds containing the element fluorine. Some of the most common of these compounds include the following: sodium fluoride (NaF), sodium silicofluoride (Na2SiF6), and calcium fluoride (CaF2). Fluorine is the most reactive nonmetallic element. It will form compounds with all elements except helium, neon and argon. It will also form salts by combining with metals.

Methodology: Fluoride analysis is an electrometric measurement. An ion-specific fluoride electrode is used on the computer aided titrimeter (CAT) to measure fluoride.

Environmental Impact: Fluoride ions maybe present either naturally or artificially in drinking water and are absorbed to some degree in the bone structure of the body and tooth enamel. Fluoride at extremely high levels can cause mottling (discoloration) of the teeth. Some fluoride compounds may also cause corrosion of piping and other water treatment equipment. Natural fluorides occur in rocks in some areas. Another source of fluorides in streams and reservoirs is releases from sewage treatment plants, since most public water supplies add fluoride to drinking water to reduce dental decay.

Criteria: The Kentucky Water Quality Standards maximum for fluoride in streams is a concentration of 1 mg/L or 1 part per million. Higher levels may be harmful to aquatic life. Fluoride concentration in water to be used for domestic water supply should not exceed 1.0 mg/L.

  • Back to Water Quality Parameters List
  • Back to River Assessment Monitoring Project Home Page
  • Back to Kentucky Water Watch Home Page
  • Back to Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet Home Page