The city of Genesee issued a drinking water warning today for infants younger than 6 months old.

At about 2 p.m. Monday, the city was notified Well No. 5 that supplies drinking water to city residents exceeded the minimum level for full operation, according to a news release from the city of Genesee.

That led to the city activating Well No. 3, which contains nitrate levels that exceed the Environment Protection Administration maximum limit. The EPA standard or maximum contaminant level of 10.4 milligrams per liter in drinking water “is a serious health concern for infants less than 6 months old.”

The release came with the warning not to give the water to infants.

“Infants below the age of 6 months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and if untreated, may die,” according to the release. “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.”

Water, juice, and formula for children under 6 months of age should not be prepared with tap water, according to the release. The city goes on to note that boiling, freezing, filtering, or letting water stand does not reduce the nitrate level. Excessive boiling can make the nitrates more concentrated because nitrates remain after water evaporates.  

Adults and children older than 6 months can drink the tap water. However, those who are pregnant or have specific health concerns, may wish to consult their doctor, according to the city.

Drinking water will be provided free of charge at the Genesee Fire Station, 235 W. Chestnut St., between the hours of 7:30-10 a.m. and 5-7 p.m.

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