PENDER – Due to high levels of nitrate, the Village of Pender has posted a ‘Drinking Water’ notice for the next two weeks.
According to a post on the Pender Public Schools website and Pender Village Board Facebook page, the notice began on Monday, April 4 and will last through the expected resolution date of Monday, April 18. Officials are currently investigating the current operational status of the water treatment plant.
In accordance with the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), Regulations Governing Public Water Supply Systems, the consumers of the Village of Pender Public Water Supply System are hereby notified that the system is in violation of the established nitrate drinking standards of 10 milligrams per liter.
Nitrate has been measured at a concentration of 16 mg/l in a sample collected from the Treatment Plant on March 31.
Nitrate in drinking water can come from natural, industrial or agricultural sources (including septic systems and run-off). Levels of nitrate in drinking water can vary throughout the year.
Officials with the Village of Pender will pass more information along once the amount of nitrate is again below the regulatory standard.
Parents are being asked to not give the water to infants under six months old or use the water to make infant formula. Also, pregnant women or nursing mothers should not consume the water at this time.
Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the drinking water standard may experience shortness of breath and have a blue tint to their lips and skin due to a lack of oxygen. This is referred to as, “blue baby syndrome.” Symptoms in infants can develop rapidly. If symptoms occur, seek medical attention immediately.
Water, juice and formula for children under six months of age should not be prepared with tap water. Alternative water, such as bottle water or water filtered to remove nitrate, should be used for infants until further testing show results under the maximum contaminant level (MCL).
Those who have water from the Village of Pender should not boil the water as this, along with freezing or letting the water stand does not reduce the nitrate level. Excessive boiling can make the nitrates more concentrated because nitrates remain behind when the water evaporates.
Adults and children older than six months can drink the tap water as nitrate at this level is a concern for infants because they cannot process nitrates the same way older children or adults can. However, if you have specific health concerns, you may wish to consult your doctor.