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Officials Lift Advisory On Nitrate Levels In Columbus Drinking Water

Results of the most recent water samples show nitrate levels are well below the recommended standard of 10 parts per million.

After last week's nitrate advisory, city officials are now saying that the water is safe for everyone to drink. This isn't the first nitrate advisory that Columbus has had and it's possible it won't be the last. 

Officials at The Division of Water say that seasonal weather patterns like heavy rains and thawing snow, can wash fertilizers from local crops into rivers and eventually our water supply. Rod Dunn, the manager at the water quality assurance lab, says it doesn't make a difference if it's organic or chemical fertilizer. Even farm best management practices can't solve the issue.

"It's all weather driven. The farmers use the same amount of fertilizers every year. It just depends on how we get the rains, how intense the rains are and whether it washes off or stays on the fields," said Dunn.

Dunn says the long-term solution will come at the end of 2017, when a new ion-exchange treatment facility will be complete. The $35 million dollar facility will remove nitrates from the water, and hopefully eliminate the need for future advisories.