Columbus OH issues water warning : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

City issues water warning

June 14, 2000

Columbus officials are warning people on the West Side and in the city's western suburbs not to give tap water to infants under 6 months old.

The city Water Division has detected higher-than-acceptable levels of nitrates in the drinking water, said Melissa Tilton, spokeswoman for the division.

The nitrates come from fertilizer that washes off farm fields during rain storms. They are not harmful to adults or children older than 6 months, Tilton said, but could harm younger infants.

Infants younger than 6 months should be given bottled, distilled water, Tilton said, and it should be used to mix formula. Boiling tap water will only intensify nitrate levels, she said.

In young infants, nitrates can bond with hemoglobin in the blood and hinder the absorption of oxygen in the body.

The warning applies to the West Side, southwestern Columbus to the Scioto River, Downtown, Upper Arlington south of Fishinger Road, New Rome, Lincoln Village, German Village, Grove City, Grandview, Hilliard and Marble Cliff.

Those areas are served by the city's Dublin Road Water Plant. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency requires that residents be notified when nitrate levels exceed 10 parts per million. The city detected levels of 11.4 parts per million on Tuesday.

The warning will remain in effect until nitrate levels drop, Tilton said. "It could be a couple of days to a week. We're going to continue to monitor it."

The last such warning occurred in June 1998. With little rainfall last summer, there was not enough runoff to cause a warning, Tilton said

-- Martin Thompson (, June 14, 2000

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