Nitrate violation will keep city well off

A nitrate violation in one of Aurora’s city drinking wells last week will keep the well out of commission until further tests are completed.
The violation came after a recent quarterly sample taken from one of Aurora’s five wells reported an average concentration of nitrates at 10.7 milligrams per liter (mg/L) , which is higher than the standard of 10 mg/L.
The violation warning included notification to pregnant women, nursing mothers and infants to avoid water from the Aurora system, while adults and children older than six months were still okay to drink the water.
All four of the other wells landed within the suggested range of nitrate levels. Even though they have turned the guilty pump off, those worried about any water drank before the nitrate discovery should know that the city’s five wells work together so any contaminated water was diluted with the qualified water in the other wells.
The immediate response from the city was to shut off the well with higher nitrates and prepare for the next quarterly test, which could come at any time in the coming months. That wasn’t the only plan as utilities superintendent Adam Darbro took his team around town to test the existing system without the guilty well attached to it.
“We wanted to make sure nothing was above the MCL (maximum contaminant level) throughout town,” Darbro explained.
The results that came back were on the positive side for citizens as none of the random sites chosen in the five different water zones came back with a reading above 10 mg/L MCL. According to Darbro this means that the water currently in the system is safe to use again.
Yet, the good news for the community isn’t the end of the road for Darbro and his team as they still have a well shut off until they can get a lower reading of nitrate levels from it.
“We just want to let people know that the way we are moving forward with it is to sample the well that is offline at least once a week,” he stated. “Until then the well will remain off. If it comes back safe after numerous tests then we will do a notice letting people know we are turning it back on.”
For more information regarding the current drinking water status, please contact Darbro at the city offices at (402) 694-6992.

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