Article courtesy of Elizabeth Faugl | June 8, 2015 || Shared as educational material
SOUTH COLUMBUS (Rob Wells/Dawn Faugl) — Droves of people stopped by Columbus Public Health to pick up free cases of water Monday afternoon after high levels of Nitrate were detected Monday at a Columbus Water Treatment Plant.
The Columbus Department of Public Utilities say that Nitrate levels reached 10.8 parts per million Monday, exceeding the maximum contaminant level of 10 parts per million. They blame the problem as the result of fertilizer and agriculture runoff near the Scioto River watershed.
Because of that, Columbus Public Health officials say that people in portions of West, Central, and Southwest Columbus, as well as Grandview Heights, Grove City, Hilliard, Lincoln Village, Marble Cliff, Upper Arlington, Urbancrest, and Valleyview who have children six months or younger should not use tap water for drinking or baby formula needs. Pregnant women also should not drink the tap water.
Health officials handed out the water at the health department, while another bottled water hand out station was set up by the County at the old Westland Mall site on West Broad Street. Health officials say that the elevated Nitrate levels can cause problems in young digestive systems and decrease oxygen amounts in blood supply.
Officials also advise that people do not boil their tap water, because they say that only increases Nitrate levels.
The Ohio Department of Health will make bottled water available to pregnant women and infants under 6 months who live in the impacted area. The water distribution starts Monday from 4:00pm-7:00pm at 240 Parsons Avenue. Franklin County Public Health will be distributing water Monday evening at Westland Mall, in front of the former Macy’s. Water distribution will continue at both locations from 11:00am-1:00pm and 4:00pm-6:00pm daily as long as the advisory is active.
There will also be an ABC 6 On Your Side Water Giveaway at our studios Tuesday afternoon and evening. ABC 6/FOX 28 will be handing out water to families in need. If you’d like bottled water, just stop by 1261 Dublin Road Columbus Ohio between the hours of 12:00-1:00p.m. and 5:00pm-6:30pm.
The affected area includes portions of west, central, and southwest Columbus, as well as Grandview Heights, Grove City, Hilliard, Lincoln Village, Marble Cliff, Upper Arlington, Urbancrest, and Valleyview. City officials say water supplied to the rest of the distribution system doesn’t have the higher levels of nitrate. You can see an interactive map from Franklin County Public Health here.