The response to the increased nitrate levels in Columbus’ water supply was swift.
“We’re going to be watching this on a daily basis, so the department of public utilities, particularly the water division, will be paying close attention to it and monitoring it along with the Ohio E.P.A. to make sure the water supply is safe,” said Jose Rodriguez with Columbus Public Health.
The health department started handing out cases of water at 4 p.m., but it wasn’t until it hit the news that the lines started.
Word spread quickly; some of it was unnecessary concern.
“We’re concerned about it. Whether we can shower in it; is this run off from farmers spray or what is this?” asked a man who said his name was Johnny Sunshine.
It likely is from farm fields that eventually finds its way into rivers and then into the Scioto and then into the Columbus water treatment plant.
But for most people, it won’t cause a problem.
“We are only concerned about our infants under or below the age of six months who are only fed with water based formula so any infant who is breast fed that’s fine. Any infant who is on premixed formula they are fine. This is only about infants below the age of six months who are again on tap water based formula,” said Dr. Teresa Long, director of Columbus Public Health.