City of Belleville Issues Drinking Water Warning Due to High Levels of Nitrate
The City of Belleville issued a drinking water warning on Wednesday, May 24th due to high levels of nitrate in the water.
A water sample collected on May 8th showed a nitrate level of 11 milligrams per liter, which is above the federal nitrate standard, or maximum contaminant level of 10 milligrams per liter. Nitrate in drinking water is a serious health concern for infants less than six months old.
Do not give the water to infants. Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the maximum contaminant level could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome. Blue baby syndrome is indicated by blueness of the skin. Symptoms in infants can develop rapidly, with health deteriorating over a period of days. If symptoms occur, seek medical attention immediately.
Water, juice, and formula for children under six months of age should not be prepared with tap water. Bottled water or other water low in nitrates should be used for infants until further notice.
Do not boil the water. Boiling, freezing, filtering, or letting water stand does not reduce the nitrate level. Excessive boiling can make the nitrates more concentrated, because nitrates remain behind when the water evaporates.
Adults and children older than six months can drink the tap water (nitrate is a concern for infants because they cannot process nitrates in the same way adults can). However, if you are pregnant or have specific health concerns, you may wish to consult your doctor.
Nitrate in drinking water can come from natural, industrial, or agricultural sources, including septic systems and run-off. Levels of nitrate in drinking water can vary throughout the year.
The City of Belleville will announce when the amount of nitrate is again below the limit. In the meantime, bottled water is being provided for vulnerable populations.
For more information, contact Adam Anderson at (785) 955-2169.