Chrisman, IL residents are being warned that the tap water is temporarily not safe for infants to drink.
The warning was posted on the city’s official Facebook page. The post stated that recent water sample results showed nitrite levels more than double the maximum allowable contaminant level. This is considered a serious health concern for infants less than 6 months old.
The water is safe for adults and children older than 6 months of age. Nitrites are only a concern for infants because they are not able toprocess it the same way older children and adults can.
Infants who drink the contaminated water could become seriously ill, according to the post. Symptoms of exposure include shortness of breath blue baby syndrome. Symptoms in infants can develop rapidly, with health deteriorating over a period of days, and if left untreated, can result in death. If symptoms occur, medical attention should be sought immediately.
The water should not be used to mix with juice or to make formula.
Residents are also advised not to boil the water as excessive boiling can make nitrites more concentrated. Filtering, freezing or letting the water stand will also not reduce the nitrite level.
While the water issafe for older children and adults, those who are pregnant or have specific health concerns may wish to consult a doctor.
Nitrite in drinking water can come from natural, industrial or agricultural sources, including septic systems and run-off, according to the post. Levels of nitrite in drinking water can vary throughout the year. Seasonal weather conditions such as heavy rain can affect the levels.
The City of Chrisman is continuing to backwash the filter media and flush water mains as often as possible to correct this issue.
According to the city, nitrite is not normally an issue and is expected to be back to normal levels within a month.