May 17, 2024

The City of Dodge City ‘Well 3’ Has Tested for High Levels of Nitrates

Dodge City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)-The City of Dodge City Public Works department was notified that a water quality sample collected from Well 3 on March 14, showed a nitrate level above the maximum level allowed for community public water supplies at 11 mg/L. This notice is a cautionary measure to ensure that people are aware of the tested result.

Water Well 3 has been turned off from water production and will remain off until confirmed safe and further testing can be completed. At this time, it is advised that consumers refrain from using the water for infants less than 6 months old, if they are nursing, or if they are pregnant.
 
“Currently, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment requires us to test our water system for nitrates on an annual basis,” said Director of Public Works, Corey Keller. “We perform other water quality tests weekly that are also done through KDHE. This well that tested at the maximum allowance of nitrate contaminants only accounted for 7% of the total water distribution from our system in 2022 and 8% percent of water distribution so far in 2023.”
 
Keller stated that the city has a total of 21 wells that service two zones of the city. Well 3 is located in the south zone. The well has been isolated from the system and is no longer in operation until further investigation can be completed.
 
As an added precaution, the City of Dodge City will have bottled water available for those that are advised against consumption at this time. To schedule a pickup call 620-225-8100.
 
Public Works staff expects to resample the well for nitrates in the next few months. In the meantime, as a precaution, please follow the warning of this notice.
 
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. Nitrate is an acute toxin to infants less than six months of age. In infants, it can cause a condition known as methemoglobinemia, or “blue-baby syndrome” which can be fatal. The most obvious symptom is a bluish skin coloring, especially around the eyes and mouth. Other symptoms can include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. An infant with bluish skin should be taken immediately to a medical facility for treatment. It is safe to bathe or shower in tap water with elevated nitrate levels.
 
​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.
 
Do not boil the water. Boiling, freezing, filtering, or letting 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 (nitrate is a concern for infants because they cannot process nitrates in the same way adults can). However, if you are pregnant or have specific health concerns, you may wish to consult your doctor.
 
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. We are distributing this notice as a precautionary measure. The well will remain off until further investigation can be completed or the well is deemed safe for operation.
 
For more information, please contact the Public Works Office at 620-225-8170, or by mail at 806 2ND AVE, PO BOX 880, DODGE CITY, KS 67801.