The City of Hebron issued a water warning Friday alerting the public of high nitrates in the drinking water. The warning targeted infants under six months of age.
The established drinking water standard is 10 milligrams of nitrates per liter; Hebron’s water supply tested 10.7 milligrams of nitrates per liter in two samples collected from the system on Aug. 13 and Aug. 20.
Nitrate in drinking water is a serious health concern for infants less than six months old, stated the warning that was hand delivered to households and water customers who use the city’s water supply.
Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the standard could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome. Boiling, freezing or allowing the water to stand will not help. In fact, excessive boiling can make the nitrates more concentrated, because nitrates remain behind when the water evaporates.
Blue baby syndrome is indicated by blueness of the skin and symptoms in infants can develop rapidly with health deteriorating over a period of days. If symptoms occur, seek medical attention immediately.
Adults and children older than six months can drink the tap water (nitrate is a concern for infants because they cannot process nitrates in the same way adults can); however, pregnant women or those with specific health concerns may wish to consult their physicians.
Water, juice, and formula for children under six months of age should not be prepared with tap water. Bottled water or other water low in nitrates should be used for infants until further notice.
Nitrate in drinking water can come from natural, industrial, or agricultural sources (including septic systems and run-off) states the warning. Levels of nitrate in drinking water can vary throughout the year. The Hebron well that is in violation has been shut down and will be monitored until further notice. For additional information contact Chris Fangmeier at 401-768-6322.