Ferdinand working to lower nitrates in water

— The City of Ferdinand mailed a letter to residents warning them of high levels of nitrates detected in the water. At its regular city meeting Feb. 14, the council was updated on further testing and the impact for the city.

Councilor Ron Riener stated at the meeting he is working with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on the testing. He also noted Well 1 is no longer on line while the water is being tested, and Well 2 is being used to supply the city.

A letter sent out Feb. 1 by the city reads, “on 1/31/17, we received notice that the sample collected on 1/24/17 showed nitrate levels of 13.7 mg/L. This is above the nitrate standard, or maximum contaminant level (MCL), of 10 mg/L. Nitrate in drinking water is a serious health concern for infants less than six months old.”

The letter recommends parents not give water from the tap to infants. Any water, juice and formula for children under six months of age should be prepared with bottled water.

It also warns that boiling water will not reduce the levels of the nitrate, rather it could cause the nitrates to become more concentrated. Individuals with specific health concerns were given the recommendation of consulting with their doctor prior to consume the tap water.

Bottled water is being made available through the city. Residents are asked to call Riener at 507-0360 to obtain bottled water.

Riener said he expects DEQ may require some additional testing on the city’s part. This will equate to additional expense for the city. He will continue to coordinate with DEQ to evaluate the water.

The next regular meeting for the city is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 14 at the City Hall.

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