Nitrate Level Increased: What You Need To Know

Nitrate Level Increased: What You Need To Know (Image 1)

The nitrate level in water from the Dublin Road plant went up overnight, according to George Zonders of Columbus Public Utilities. 

The level from the test at the tap Tuesday morning was 11.7 parts per million (ppm), compared to 10.8 Monday evening. 

Many factors can contribute to it going up, he said, including the rain from last night.

The advisory will likely stay in effect for at least a few more days until the levels are at 10 or below consistently.For questions on Columbus water, please call the Department of Public Utilities Customer Service center at 645-8276. Updates will be available at and on Facebook (under Columbus Public Utilities). 

Representatives from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine said dogs of any size can drink the water. 

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control center would be the appropriate place to contact regarding cat safety, as it has been difficult for vets to find exact research pertaining to cats and the nitrate situation. Call them at (888) 426-4435.

Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director at the ASPCA animal poison control center, said said ruminants such as goats and cattle are more sensitive to the effects of nitrates. Fish are also sensitive to nitrates and this water should not be used to fill aquaria or ponds.

“Pocket pets” and rodents should only drink bottled water.

Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrates in excess of the maximum contaminant level could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and what is known as blue baby syndrome, indicated by blueness of the skin.

Residents who live in the designated service area and have an infant below the age of six months are advised to purchase bottled water to use in baby formula. Boiling increases nitrate levels in the tap water. 

Healthy adults and older children can consume higher levels of nitrate because they have fully developed digestive systems. Nitrate is commonly consumed by older children and adults as it is contained in many foods such as processed meats and lettuce. Those who are pregnant, nursing or have any medical conditions should consult their doctor on nitrate concerns. 

READ MORE: Nitrate Advisory In Effect For Areas Of Columbus Water Service

Officials Continue To Monitor Water Nitrate Advisory


The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. Each home, school and business in the greater Columbus area receives water from one of the following three water plants:

• Dublin Road Water Plant (DRWP) serves northwestern and southwestern residents using water from Griggs and O’Shaughnessy Reservoirs.

• Hap Cremean Water Plant (HCWP) serves OSU and northern residents. The water source is the Hoover Reservoir.

• Parsons Avenue Water Plant (PAWP) draws water from wells and serves residents in the southeast. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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