EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE



City of Gardner

Fluoride occurs naturally in surface and groundwater and is also added to drinking water by many water systems. Read More.

Fluoride has been promoted as a chemical that reduces dental cavities. Yet it is now well-established that fluoride primarily exerts its protective effects through topical mechanisms, such as sodium fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash. In contrast, long-term ingestion of fluoride in water increases dental fluorosis, which includes mottling, pitting and weakening of the teeth. EPA's maximum legal limit is set at 4 parts per million (ppm) to prevent skeletal fluorosis, a condition where bones become brittle and more susceptible to fractures, although these effects may occur at lower doses.

Even fluoride levels of 0.7 ppm, the amount of fluoride in drinking water recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service, can result in too much fluoride for bottle-fed babies. EWG recommends that caregivers mix baby formula with fluoride-free water. The National Toxicology Program is investigating the potential for low doses of fluoride to alter thyroid function and childhood brain development.





Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)


Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
20121.30 ppm551.30 ppm
20131.32 ppm551.20 ppm - 1.40 ppm
20141.16 ppm551.000 ppm - 1.30 ppm
20151.15 ppm550.610 ppm - 1.60 ppm
20160.646 ppm550.600 ppm - 0.680 ppm
20170.620 ppm550.580 ppm - 0.680 ppm

ppm = parts per million

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 4 ppm

ppm = parts per million

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2012-02-15575514BT1.30 ppm
2012-05-09578701WS1.30 ppm
2012-05-09578704BT1.30 ppm
2012-08-13583730BT1.30 ppm
2012-10-16586738BT1.30 ppm
2013-02-27592794BT1.20 ppm
2013-05-13595986WS1.30 ppm
2013-06-17597350BT1.30 ppm
2013-08-20601851BT1.40 ppm
2013-10-22604889BT1.40 ppm
2014-01-14368771.30 ppm
2014-04-221002151.10 ppm
2014-04-221002361.000 ppm
2014-08-271818921.20 ppm
2014-10-222176201.20 ppm
2015-01-272676131.50 ppm
2015-04-143127981.60 ppm
2015-04-203158231.40 ppm
2015-07-153671580.640 ppm
2015-11-184219320.610 ppm
2016-02-094909180.600 ppm
2016-04-125266060.630 ppm
2016-04-195303420.680 ppm
2016-07-195859240.670 ppm
2016-10-116413140.650 ppm
2017-02-136802060.590 ppm
2017-04-107369400.630 ppm
2017-04-187438940.620 ppm
2017-07-117954910.680 ppm
2017-11-148781630.580 ppm