City of Columbus issues tap water nitrate advisory for multiple communities

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A nitrate advisory has been issued for multiple portions of central Ohio.

According to the Columbus Division of Water, the nitrate advisory area includes:

  • Portions of downtown
  • West and southwest Columbus
  • Grandview Heights
  • Grove City
  • Hilliard
  • Lincoln Village
  • Marble Cliff
  • Upper Arlington
  • Urbancrest

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Do not give tap water to infants below the age of six months or use it to make infant formula, juice or baby cereal.

Women who are over 30 weeks pregnant and live in the affected area should avoid drinking tap or any beverages made from the water.

Also, officials warn residents to not boil the tap water because it will increase the nitrate levels.

The water supply to the rest of the Columbus water distribution system does not contain elevated nitrate levels.

Too much nitrate in your body makes it harder for red blood cells to carry oxygen. The EPA says nitrate can get into your water supply “when products containing nitrogen, such as fertilizer or manure, are applied to land, natural bacteria living in the soil can change nitrogen into nitrate. Rain or irrigation water can carry the nitrates down through the soil to the groundwater below.”

The EPA recommends those who live in the affected area find another source of water until nitrate levels return to their normal levels. This can be bottled water or a device or filter that removes nitrate from your tap water.

Most water filtration pitchers or the kind that attach to your faucet will not work on nitrates. The water industry says distillation water filters and reverses osmosis water filters, both attach to your plumbing, do catch nitrates. But the health department says in this instance, why take the chance.

“At this point those could work. We are not recommending that people utilize those. If you fall into those categories and you live in the affected areas, please get some water, its fairly affordable. If you cannot afford it, we’ll help you out,” said Columbus Public Health spokesperson José Rodriguez.

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