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Water Defluoridation

Effects of Excess Concentration of Fluoride :

 Fluoride  which is naturally in groundwater in concentrations ranging from 0.1 mg/L to 10 mg/L. The chemical originates in several minerals. As groundwater passes through the earth and comes into contact with these minerals, fluoride is dissolved and enters the water. The deeper the water flows through the earth, the more fluoride-containing minerals it will come in contact with, and the greater the fluoride concentration in the water will be Ordinarily groundwater having concentrations of 10 mg/L, or-more of fluoride are rare and surface waters seldom contain more than 1 mg/L of fluoride. Fluoride in excessive concentration is undesirable in waters used for drinking. According to WHO, and the Manual on Water Supply and Treatment published by the CPHEEO, Gal, the recommended higher limit for fluoride is 1.5 mg/L. High fluoride concentration in groundwater is a natural phenomenon in close to 23 countries such as China, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Spain, Holland, Italy and Mexico.
According to a Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Moments (RGNDWM) report, the bedrock of the Indian peninsula consists of a number of fluoride-bearing minerals: fluorite, topaz, apatite; and rock phosphate, phosphatic nodules and phosphorite (all with high fluoride concentrations). When the bedrock weathers – a natural chemical process in which the rock slowly crumbles to form soils – the fluoride leaches into the water and the soil. High concentrations of fluoride have been found in parts of Andra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu in the country.

Fluoride mainly enters the human body through drinking water; 96-99% of it combines with bones, as fluoride has affinity for calcium phosphate in the bones. Excess intake of fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, or non-skeletal fluorosis. According to WHO, the prevalence of Dental Fluorosis is correlated to drinking water fluoride in the following manner.

 Dental Fluorosis

Fluoride in water has been proven to prevent tooth decay among children and to prevent root tip rot. The chemical acts by strengthening the tooth enamel and by making the enamel more resistant to decay. Although fluoride is safe at the concentrations less than 1.5 mg/L, an excess amount of fluoride in water can result in mottled brown stains on teeth. These stains is called dental fluorosis, which results from fluoride concentrations of 1.5 mg/L in drinking water.Dental Fluorosis is characterized, by discolored, blackened, mottled or chalky-white teeth. Extreme concentrations of fluoride can cause skeletal Fluorosis. Skeletal Fluorosis leads to severe and permanent bone and joint deformations. Fluorosis is an irreversible disease and there is no cure. Fluorosis is a disease that neither allows a person to live nor to die. Non-skeletal Fluorosis leads to gastrointestinal problems and neurological disorders. Fluoride can damage a fetus, and adversely affect the IQ of children.

Fluorosis  can be detected in the neck, spine, knee, pelvis, shoulder and small joint of hands and feet. Castro-intestinal symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Some neurological manifestations are nervousness, excessive thirst and tendency to urinate frequently. In spite of all these symptoms, it is common Fluorosis to remain un-diagnosed for a long time. In India fluorosis has spread across states, and across a variety of ecological regions.

Water Fluoridation

Water Fluoridation is the process of adjusting the concentration of fluoride in public drinking water supplies for the prevention of dental decay. Fluoride has been added to drinking water in the United States since 1945. With a few exceptions, fluoride can be added to water at any point between the raw water intake and the clear well. However, if fluoride is fed before filtration, about 10% of the fluoride sticks to the floc and is lost, so fluoride is usually added after water treatment filtration. In addition, if lime is fed, the fluoride should be added as far away from the lime injection point as possible. Three main chemicals used for fluoridation of drinking water are hydrofluosilicic acid, sodium silico fluoride, and sodium fluoride.

Methods of De fluoridation

Removal of fluoride from water is known as water treatment defluoridation. Once excess fluoride is detected in water, the obvious step is to defluoridate water. The technology to be adopted depends upon the fluoride levels in water and the volume of water to be defluoridated.

Fluoride removal plants installed in USA use beds of tri calcium phosphate as a base ~exchange material. These beds are regenerated by flushing with 1 to 1.5% sodium hydroxide solution followed by a dilute hydrochloric acid wash, or by use of CO2 to neutralize the excessive alkalinity resulting from the initial wash. There are two processes available for the treatment fluoride contaminated water. They are;

  • Activated Alumina Technology,
  • Reverse osmosis water treatment process, and
  • Nalgonda technique.
Activated Alumina Technology

In the Activated Alumina Technology, if local alumina is used it has to be regenerated using acid and alkali whereas imported alumina does not require any regeneration. However the operation of the plant which is depending upon the import of alumina is not possible for long run. The disposal of solid alumina waste may lead to leaching out of aluminum and fluoride which may cause health hazards and pollute the nearby ground water sources.

Reverse osmosis water treatment process

The Reverse osmosis water treatment process can be used for places where the quality of water is affected either by single parameter or multiple parameter such as fluoride, Total dissolved solids, Total hardness, etc. For operating the plant high technical skill is required which may not be available in the rural areas. Further, this process involves prohibitive cost of operation and maintenance.


In India various technologies have been tested. “Ion exchange and chemical treatments are cost intensive, while physical methods suffer limitations, like frequent change in fluoridation beds and the inability to reduce fluoride to non-toxic levels. The clean-up schemes – both large and small have failed because of improper management.

19 Responses to “Water Defluoridation”

  1. Freda Corredor says:

    Hi, I’ve been a lurker around your blog for a few months. I love this article and your entire site! Looking forward to reading more!

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  3. maina says:

    Please send me details of other defluoridation options that are cheaper than the ones futured in the article above. please shed some more light on use of bone char if possible.

  4. Mealor says:

    I heard you may use baking soda to make your teeth whiter, is this really an effective technique? would i damage my teeth ?

  5. Water says:

    Low-cost bioadsorbents is used for the removal of Fluoride in wide range of concentrations.

  6. Naresh says:

    the article u published was great ………

  7. Admin says:

    Removal of fluoride from water is known as defluoridation in this process Tricalcium phosphate as a base ~xchange material.
    And In the Activated Alumina Technology alumina is used as areagent.

  8. barrie dentist says:

    cheers very much, I am obliged to say your blog is fantastic!

  9. RomsRoake says:

    Вода является очень важным для нашей жизни……

  10. Yablochniks says:

    Ekstrem godt indlæg http://www.thewatertreatments.com

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  17. Maz K says:

    “The clean-up schemes – both large and small have failed because of improper management.”

    Hmm wonder why the defluoridation didn’t go to plan? Maybe because flouride generally dumbs people down and we can’t have smart people as they’ll figure out they’re being poisoned and lied too by the governments and corporations. A friend told me straight up that he put flouride into the water supply for his job. Everyone reading this please do me a favour and read the warning label on your toothpaste. Sodium Flouride is the reason for that warning so why is it in the drinking water if it’s too poisonous to swallow toothpaste? Ok the concentration is different but why should I be slightly poisoned by toothpaste and now by drinking water.

    People need to start waking up and fast.

  18. Narender Ahuja says:

    Interesting subject! We have developed a technology known as bio media and is very environment friendly. The technology is being used in various parts of the country and is highly successful. No chemicals or acids are required to be used for regeneration.

  19. Augustin says:

    Corrosion in water pipe line and how to rectified from corrosion in boiler and capillary systems of all industrial.

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