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Columbus Officials Issue Nitrate Water Advisory

Water faucet
Flickr: Luis
A nitrate water advisory has been issues for parts of the Columbus area.

The City of Columbus has issued a nitrate advisory for the Dublin Road water plant. 

Officials say infants under six months of age and pregnant women should not drink tap water in the affected areas which include parts of Columbus, Grandview, Hilliard and Upper Arlington. 

Columbus Public Health medical director Mysheika Roberts said, “Babies, under six months, they usually aren’t just drinking water. If you’re mixing formula, like powdered formula, that would be an instance where you wouldn’t want to give an infant water even in the formula.”

Columbus Public Utilities spokesman George Zonders said high levels of nitrate in drinking water is caused from fertilizer run off, often after significant rain.

“Eighty percent of the Dublin Road treatment watershed is agricultural. If there is a large rain event, which we had a week ago Saturday, it can get washed into the Scioto River and eventually downstream into the Dublin water plant.”

High levels of nitrate in infants can cause “blue baby syndrome," where vital organs don’t get enough oxygen. 

Officials also advise against boiling the tap water. 

“Boiling the tap water does not reduce the nitrate levels. In anything, since it’s an inorganic compound, it’s going to increase it because it will actually be less water. And the concentration of nitrate will only increase if you boil it," Zonders explained.

The water advisory is in effect until further notice.

Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health will distribute bottled waterfrom 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. while the advisory is active.  

Columbus Public Health is handing out water June 8 - 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.