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City of Pocatello well inactivated due to high nitrate levels in water

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - The City of Pocatello water system recently received nitrate results for one of their wells that was above allowable limits.

The City of Pocatello Water Department routinely monitors for the presence of drinking water contaminants, and on Friday, the department received notice the result of sample collected from Well #2 on October 14, 2021 showed nitrate levels of 11.69 mg/L.

The standard, or maximum contaminant level (MCL), for nitrate is 10 mg/L.

Drinking water provided to residents within the distribution system is a mixture of water from various sources. After the department received notice of the results, nitrate levels from this mixture and adjacent to the source were sampled at 5.04 mg/L, which is well within standards and is safe for consumption.

What has been done?

Upon notification of exceedance of the standard on October 14, 2021, a confirmation sample was taken and Well #2 was inactivated. Well #2 no longer provides water to the distribution system. Alternate water sources will continue to provide safe drinking water to residents for the foreseeable future.

What should residents do?

Because the well that exceeded the MCL was inactivated, there is nothing residents need to do. You do not need to seek alternative water or take other corrective actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, you should consult your doctor.

When Nitrates Exceed 10 mg/L:

Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome. Blue baby syndrome is indicated by blueness of the skin. Symptoms in infants can develop rapidly, with health deteriorating over a period of days. If symptoms occur, seek medical attention immediately.

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