A nitrate advisory remains for parts of Franklin County Monday, according to Columbus Public Health.

The nitrate level is 10.7 parts per million, unsafe for infants and pregnant women.

Beginning Tuesday, bottled water for pregnant women and infants under 6 months old living in the affected area can be obtained by calling 211.

Last week, Columbus Public Health said elevated nitrate levels are primarily a result of fertilizer and agricultural runoff within the 1,000 square mile Scioto River watershed – 80% of which is agricultural – that supplies the Dublin Road Water Plant.

READ MORE: Nitrate Advisory In Effect For Areas Of Columbus Water Service

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For questions on Columbus water, call the Department of Public Utilities Customer Service center at (614) 645-8276. Updates will be available at www.utilities.columbus.gov and on Facebook (under Columbus Public Health). 

Representatives from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine said dogs of any size can drink the water. 

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control center would be the appropriate place to contact regarding cat safety, as it has been difficult for vets to find exact research pertaining to cats and the nitrate situation. Call them at (888) 426-4435.

Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director at the ASPCA animal poison control center, said said ruminants such as goats and cattle are more sensitive to the effects of nitrates. Fish are also sensitive to nitrates and this water should not be used to fill aquaria or ponds.

“Pocket pets” and rodents should only drink bottled water.

Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrates in excess of the maximum contaminant level could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and what is known as blue baby syndrome, indicated by blueness of the skin.

Residents who live in the designated service area and have an infant below the age of six months are advised to purchase bottled water to use in baby formula. Boiling increases nitrate levels in the tap water. 

Healthy adults and older children can consume higher levels of nitrate because they have fully developed digestive systems. Nitrate is commonly consumed by older children and adults as it is contained in many foods such as processed meats and lettuce. Those who are pregnant, nursing or have any medical conditions should consult their doctor on nitrate concerns. 


The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. Each home, school and business in the greater Columbus area receives water from one of the following three water plants:

• Dublin Road Water Plant (DRWP) serves northwestern and southwestern residents using water from Griggs and O’Shaughnessy Reservoirs.

• Hap Cremean Water Plant (HCWP) serves OSU and northern residents. The water source is the Hoover Reservoir.

• Parsons Avenue Water Plant (PAWP) draws water from wells and serves residents in the southeast.