We all know tap water is filled with unnaturally high levels of fluoride but does well water have fluoride?
Luckily for you, today we’re going to dive deep into the two topics of wells and fluoride. We’re also going to cover both private and public wells, the differences and plan of action for both.
I’m also going to assume you know what fluoride is, how much fluoride is safe, and where fluoride comes from but if you don’t, you can always take a look at the fluoride page.
Now if at any point you are confused or overwhelmed, don’t worry… by the time you read the entirety of this article you’ll have a simple answer and solution.
Does Well Water Have Fluoride?
Yes, well water contains fluoride.
In fact, almost all water does but fluoride levels can vary considerably, especially in well water.
To put this into perspective, the natural levels of fluoride found in freshwater sources typically contain 0.05 ppm of fluoride. While tap water could have fluoride levels between 0.7 to 1.2 ppm…that’s up to 2300% more than natural levels¹.
But what about well water?
We know that well water does have fluoride, but we don’t know how much fluoride.
While I’d love to give you a straightforward and simple answer the truth is, it depends. Unlike tap water that goes through municipal treatment facilities and has a predictably high level of fluoride added, well water is a lot more unpredictable.
As the amount of fluoride in your well water depends on the minerals in the rocks and ores that the water passed through along with possible contamination.
Obviously the best way to find out how much fluoride is in well water is to test it. But testing can be expensive and you’d have to test your water at least a couple times a year as water quality can change quickly.
For example, the fluoride meter I have will cost you at least a couple hundred bucks. Worst part is it won’t even tell you about all the other contaminants that your well water may be holding.
But on the bright side, shortly I will tell you why none of this matters.
So for those that don’t want to be continuously testing their water and are looking for an easy answer, continue reading. But first we’ll go through a few things that will help you understand whether or not you have high fluoride levels in your well water and a couple shocking pieces of information.
How Does Fluoride Get Into My Well Water?
Fluoride occurs naturally in groundwater (aka well water) but how much fluoride mainly depends on the concentration of minerals in the rocks and ores that the water passes through.
The content of fluoride also varies by region.
Elevated concentrations of fluoride are often associated with the mineral fluorite in limestone and dolomite bedrock, as well as with soft water found in shale bedrock and clay soils.
More so, dry regions typically have higher levels of fluoride than regions that have higher averages of rainfall. Which all goes hand in hand to why groundwater on average contains more fluoride than surface water.
On top of natural sources, fluoride can also find its way into your water from 3 different avenues:
- Runoff and infiltration of chemical fertilizers in agricultural areas
- Septic and sewage treatment system discharges in communities with fluoridated water supplies
- Liquid waste from industrial sources²
With all this in mind, mixed in with seasonal changes and the depth of a particular well, it’s hard to determine fluoride levels without testing. But even if you can not run tests, this does not change the solution I will propose shortly.
Now it’s important to mention, as the water makes its way, picking up fluoride, it also picks up various things along the way. Naturally, the water picks up all the good stuff the earth has to offer, such as:
I’d love to say that’s all water picks up but I’d be lying.
In today’s day and age there’s a lot more for water to pick up along the way. Mixed in with the fact water does not discriminate, lot’s of other substances that are proven to cause crippling health effects frequently find their way into bodies of water such as well water.
What Other Contaminants Are In My Well Water?
The biggest concern with well water is how vulnerable it is to contamination.
Even if the area you live in is naturally low in fluoride levels, or you’ve conducted tests, it’s possible that your water contains dangerously high levels of another contaminant.
In fact, it most likely does.
This happens in a similar way to what causes cloudy tap water: the well water gets directly contaminated or while water travels to the water source it picks up various contaminants which can be naturally occurring or industrial waste.
Here are just a few that you could expect:
- Synthetic Estrogen
The graphic above explains the potential sources of contamination for tap water. But there are very few differences between how tap water and well water are contaminated.
On the plus side, there is no fluoride or chlorine added to well water.
On the down side, the microorganisms like bacteria that would have been killed off by the chlorine could continue to exist in well water.
But there is one thing that is extremely alarming, it’s the widespread contamination of pesticides.
To put this into perspective, here is a map of how often a pesticide called Atrazine is used. The crazy part is that this is just 1 out of 604 pesticides used. If you’d like to see the other 603, you can at the USGS website.
With such high uses of pesticides and hundreds of them, there should be no surprise they are abundant and frequently found in water sources across North America.
As a study published by the US Geological survey found atrazine, was found 90% of the time in streams in agricultural areas and 70% of the time in streams in urban areas along with being frequently detected in ground water³.
What’s The Difference Between Private and Public Wells?
The main difference is that public wells are regulated by government agencies like the EPA, this ensures the levels of various contaminants to be under a set limit. However, this rarely guarantees the levels to be at safe levels.
At best you’ll get small doses of dozens of contaminants that build up over time, that takes a slow and stealthy effect on your health.
However the reason I mention this is because the EPA has set maximum allowable concentrations for fluoride levels in drinking water at 2 ppm⁴. While the U.S Public Health Service (USPHS) recommends 0.7 ppm as the optimum level of fluoride⁵.
The truth is, as explained on the fluoride page, even 0.7 ppm of fluoride in drinking water is too high and quite frankly unnecessary.
But no matter what your opinion on fluoride is, it is odd that the levels enforced by the EPA are more than double the “optimum” levels of fluoride. Proving even public wells are not placed in good hands. Or at the very least, something still has to be done with the quality of well water.
On the other hand, private wells are not regulated at all.
This means the responsibility is purely on the owner to insure whether or not the water is safe to drink. In the United States, this applies to 14% of U.S residents who rely on private wells that are not regulated by the EPA⁶.
That’s over 45 million people.
What’s worse is of those millions of Americans who rely on private wells, the U.S Geological Survey (USGS) found that 23% of private wells exceeded the regulation levels of one or more contaminants at a level that could cause negative health outcomes⁷.
We already know fluoride and pesticides are one of these contaminants but just for safe measure, here is another one…
Taken straight from a new study by the U.S Geological Survey and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 2.1 million people in the U.S. may be getting their drinking water from private domestic wells considered to have high concentrations of arsenic, presumed to be from natural sources⁸.
Now more than 10 micrograms per litre will most definitely result in some horrendous health outcomes. It can cause cancer, skin lesions and has been linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. While reeking havoc on the cognitive development of babies in utero and young children⁹.
However health effects from contaminated water are typically slow and accumulative… so imagine what 9, 8 or even 7 micrograms of arsenic, every day, over the course of years or decades will do to someone?
Now, let’s turn our attention to fluoride again.
How Does Fluoride Affect My Health?
Recent and new scientific literature is emerging and with it, a better understanding of fluoride. With this new knowledge, we now know fluoride is a non-essential nutrient¹⁰ and a known neurotoxin¹¹ to human health.
It is clear that the risks associated with fluoride far outweigh the benefits of oral health, as the benefits have been proven to be non-existent. All of which is explained and scientifically sourced in great detail on our fluoride page.
Here are a few of the well known health effects of fluoride:
These health effects and others are multiplied in certain populations such as babies and younger children, where fluoride reeks havoc very quickly in their developing bodies…
So since there is nothing to gain and a lot to lose, Truth About Fluoride strongly recommends individuals to limit the amount of fluoride they consume to as close to zero as possible.
Thankfully, unlike other health life changes eliminating fluoride is easy and requires little effort.
All that is required is a decision and to help you with that decision we offer a guide (link to guide) that helps you eliminate fluoride from your life and detox you of any fluoride you have stored in your body.
How To Get Fluoride Out Of My Well Water?
Every website you come across will tell you the same thing, you need to test your water. That way you will know how much fluoride is in your water.
But odds are, as we’ve gone through together, there is something in your water that you don’t want there. If it’s not fluoride, then it’ll be pesticides, pharmaceuticals or arsenic…
Point is, the money you would pay for tests could easily pay for a solution that would take care of any worry with any of the health contaminants found in well water.
That solution is, taking matters into your own hands. Since methods like boiling water do not remove fluoride, buying a water filter to filter out contaminants like fluoride is your only choice.
That’s exactly what I’ve done and helped others to do.
In fact, in the above picture you’ll see my filter on the left, my parents filter in the middle and my girlfriend’s filter on the right. Each filter suits each individual’s needs and lifestyle.
While when it comes to well water, different filters are required than for tap water. For well water, my favorite filter would have to be reverse osmosis. As explained in does reverse osmosis filter fluoride, it will remove ALL fluoride.
While a distiller would definitely do the job. As shown in does distilling water remove fluoride, it took fluoride levels from 0.7 ppm all the way down to 0.0 ppm. But I wouldn’t recommend it for reasons outlined in the distiller article.
So, what should you do?
Well, since I know how hard it is to choose a filter and not make a mistake, I’ve made a guide about water filters that remove fluoride that’ll help you choose the right one.
In fact, getting a water filter is the first step in our fluoride guide. By eliminating the biggest source of fluoride, you’ll have your health and your families health heading in the right direction. You’ll also know without a doubt that the water you’re drinking is safe.