The 435th Medical Group Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight regularly conducts drinking water quality monitoring samples for many constituents throughout the year.
The quarterly sampling for nitrates for Sembach Annex revealed an elevated level. The maximum contaminant level for nitrates is 10 milligrams per liter and the reportable level from recent results is 13 mg/l.
Elevated nitrates in drinking water is fairly common across many drinking water systems in areas of agriculture; it often comes from agricultural processes such as feedstock and fertilizers. Nitrate is a normal component of the human diet, but prolonged exposure can be harmful to infants under 6 months. Pregnant women at or near 30 weeks can also be more sensitive to increased nitrate levels; infants and pregnant women should not consume the tap water from the Sembach Annex area. Free bottled water will be available. The water may be acquired at the WSA (Housing Maintenance) U-Fix-It Store.
Children 1-year-old and above, nursing mothers and other adults are not at risk. Additionally, infants will not be affected by bathing in tap water.
The 735th Civil Engineer Squadron is working to resolve this issue. Their goal is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of water resources by regulating and eliminating pollutants.
For details, call Bioenvironmental Engineering at 479-2220 or the 735th CES Operations Flight at 480-6153.
(Courtesy of 435th Medical Group)