Moroni City residents warned not to give infants drinking water due to high levels of nitrates

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MORONI CITY (ABC4 News) – Utah Department of Environmental Quality issued a “do not drink” order for users in the Moroni City Water System Wednesday.

DEQ officials said due to a mechanical failure to one of the two sources serving Moroni City, the water contains high levels of nitrate.

“Nitrate in drinking water is a serious health concern for infants less than six months old,” officials said in a statement.

Residents are warned not to give the water to infants. Officials said infants drinking water with high levels of nitrates could become seriously ill and if untreated, they may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome.

According to the CDC, blue baby syndrome is when a baby’s skin turns a bluish color, particularly around the eyes and mouth due to a lack of oxygen.

“Symptoms in infants can develop rapidly with health deteriorating over a period of days.”

Water, juice, and formula for children under six months of age should not be prepared with tap water. Bottled water or other water low in nitrates should be used for infants until further notice.

Residents are warned not to boil the water. Officials said boiling, freezing, filtering or letting water stand does not reduce the nitrate level. They said excessive boiling may even make nitrates more concentrated because they remain behind when the water evaporates.

Adults and children older than six months are OK to drink the tap water. Officials said nitrate is a concern for infants because infants can’t process nitrates in the same way adults can.

Moroni City crews are working to repair the broken source. City officials will announce with the nitrate levels are below the limit and safe for infants. The city says it is working with state and county agencies to correct this problem.

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