ASSUMPTION, Ill. (WAND) - In a very important notice to residents, the City of Assumption is warning people that its tap water could be deadly to infants under six months of age.
Due to high nitrate levels in the water, babies under six months who drink the water either on its own or mixed with formula could become seriously ill or even die.
Symptoms include shortness of breath, and Blue baby syndrome, indicated by blue skin. Symptoms in babies develop rapidly.
Water, juice, and baby formula for children under six months old should not be made with tap water.
Do not boil the water. Boiling, freezing, filtering, or letting the water stand does not reduce the nitrate level. In fact, excessive boiling can cause the nitrates in the water to become more concentrated.
Adults and children older than six months can drink the tap water, but those who are pregnant or have other health issues should consult with their doctor.
Assumption said nitrate in drinking water can come from natural, industrial, or agricultural sources, including septic systems and run-off.
The city will be adjusting the blend of source water to lower the concentration of nitrates.
The city is also flushing hydrants to increase water turnover.
The city will be alerting residents when it is safe for babies to drink the water again.
Assumption officials told WAND News there have been no reports of babies getting sick from the tap water at this time.