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City delivers high nitrate notice
Staff
Saturday, October 24, 2020

The City of Plainview was alerted to a high nitrate test in one of the City wells late last week, and started posting notices to the community Friday, warning of the elevated level.

According to the official testing document, which appears to have changed since the last time any water issues were reported, noted that the “City of Plainview has high levels of nitrate” and gave warning to those that have infants under six months old, pregnant women or nursing mothers to not drink the water.

The official release said not to prepare water, juice or formula for children under six months of age with tap water, and a specific notification to not boil the water, as the boiling may assist with concentrating the nitrate levels, not eliminating them.

The posted notice did say that the water was safe for anyone older than six months, and told those concerned to consult their physician.

Providing some context to the issue was City Administrator Jeremy Tarr, who gave his comments in his first column that appears elsewhere in this edition.

In essence, the context is that the City of Plainview has been reduced to just a few wells as nitrate levels have been slowly increasing at some of the other locations. A few of the City’s wells have already been decommissioned, and attempted to be rehabilitated, but with nitrate levels not coming down, those wells have been permanently taken off line.

The remaining few wells are able to handle the water needs of the community, and the average nitrate level returns to a safe level if all the wells are taken into account. The well in question – near Plainview High School – tested at an 11, one milligram/liter more than the recommended 10 or lower, but State officials told the City the well could still be used, because it didn’t register too high and the average quality is acceptable.

Tarr commented in his column that the community should expect these reports to continue to be made quarterly, probably with nitrates continuing to be an issue, but the water is safe to drink, and the City Council has budgeted and made plans to dig an entirely new well in an approved area with lower nitrate concentration in the next fiscal year.

Any questions can be directed to the City Offices.