FRAZIER PARK, Calif. (KERO) — In a notice posted on its website, the Frazier Park Utilities District Water System is telling some residents not to drink the water due to high levels of Nitrate.
The utility said that samples that were received back in June contained amounts of Nitrate above the "maximum contaminant level." High levels of nitrate in drinking water can be dangerous to health, especially for infants and pregnant women.
What is Nitrate?
Nitrate is a compound that is formed naturally when nitrogen combines with oxygen or ozone. Nitrogen is essential for all living things, but high levels of nitrate in drinking water can be dangerous to health, especially for infants and pregnant women. Nitrates are also made in large amounts by plants and animals, and are released in smoke and industrial or automotive exhaust.
Where and How Does Nitrate Get Into Drinking Water?
Nitrate can occur naturally in surface and groundwater at a level that does not generally cause health problems. High levels of nitrate in well water often result from improper well construction, well location, overuse of chemical fertilizers, or improper disposal of human and animal waste. Sources of nitrate that can enter your well include fertilizers, septic systems, animal feedlots, industrial waste, and food processing waste. Wells may be more vulnerable to such contamination after flooding, particularly if the wells are shallow, have been dug or bored, or have been submerged by floodwater for long periods of time.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, excessive Nitrate levels "can affect how blood carries oxygen and can cause methemoglobinemia (also known as blue baby syndrome). Bottle-fed babies under six months old are at the highest risk of getting methemoglobinemia. Methemoglobinemia can cause skin to turn a bluish color and can result in serious illness or death. Other symptoms connected to methemoglobinemia include decreased blood pressure, increased heart rate, headaches, stomach cramps, and vomiting."
Frazier Park Public Utilities District Water System also warns residents not to attempt to boil the water in order to purify it. "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."
The utility said it would notify customers when the water is safe to drink.