Drinking Water Warning-High Nitrate Levels in Reedsville Waterworks


Drinking Water Warning

High Nitrate Levels in Reedsville Waterworks


A water sample collected on November 8, 2019 from the drinking water at Reedsville’s Well 3 indicated the presence of nitrate in excess of the 10 mg/L, the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL).  Further sampling on November 18, 2019, confirmed the high levels of nitrate.  The average of these samples exceeds the MCL and is a violation of State and Federal Safe Drinking Water Regulations.


What precautions should be taken at this time?

Discard all food, drinks and ice made with water prior to Tuesday.  No additional actions are necessary at this time because Well 3 has been turned off. However, we are required to provide you with this notice because Reedsville’s drinking water contained nitrate above the MCL for an unknown period of time prior to Monday, November 18, 2019, when Well 3 was turned off. The most recent prior sample result from this well was on August 9, 2019 and showed nitrate levels well below the MCL.


What is the problem with nitrates above the MCL? 

Consumption of high nitrate water has significant health effects.  Nitrate is found in many natural and processed foods. However, nitrate is an acute hazard for infants because they don’t digest nitrate like adults, causing a lack of oxygen in their blood.  People of all ages are urged to avoid long-term consumption of high nitrate water because it is linked to some chronic diseases, according to Wisconsin Department of Health Services.  Consumption means drinking the water or eating foods prepared with the water, such as soups, juices, and coffee. 

INFANTS. Infants younger than six months of age 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. Baby formula, juice and drinks for infants under six months with tap water containing high nitrates.

FEMALES WHO ARE OR MAY BECOME PREGNANT. There is some evidence of an association between exposure to high nitrate levels in drinking water during the first weeks of pregnancy and certain birth defects.


What if the water again has nitrates above the MCL? 

You will be immediately notified and advised to use BOTTLED WATER or water from another source known to be safe.  Never boil water containing high nitrates.  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.


What else do I need to know?

Persons older than six months and anyone who is not or may not become pregnant can drink this water occasionally without harm. Nitrate in drinking water can come from natural, industrial, or agricultural sources (including septic systems, fertilizers, and run-off). Levels of nitrate in drinking water can vary throughout the year.


What is being done to correct the problem?

We have turned the well off and are using only water from Well 5, where all water is treated to remove nitrates.  We will be meeting with the Department of Natural Resources and working to determine how to bring Well 3 back on line. 


If you have questions regarding the safety of our drinking water, please contact:

Justin Meyer, 920-0754-4094, 300 Mud Creek Road