Well 8 taken out of service prior to high-nitrate violation

The City of Hastings was notified on June 11 by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy that a sample taken June 10 showed Hastings Municipal Well 481 (Well 8), at 12th Street and Crane Avenue had a nitrate level of 11 milligrams per liter. 

That amount was in violation of the nitrate maximum contaminant level of 10 mg/L. 

The June 10 test was a confirmation sample that followed a routine sample collected on May 7, 2024, also with a concentration of 11 mg/L. 

Hastings Utilities was notified of the test on May 13 and tagged the well out of service that day, which was one month ago. 

The May 7 and June 10 tests showed results of 10.8 and 10.6 mg/L, respectively, and those results were rounded up to 11 mg/L. 

City of Hastings wells are tested quarterly. The previous test of Well 8 was taken on April 2, which showed a nitrate level of 8.99 mg/L 

Residences in the area immediately surrounding Well 8 were notified of the violation through a letter delivered to homes by Hastings Utilities Department staff members, according to state requirements. Well 8 was one of 18 active wells in the City of Hastings, but as a result of the high nitrate readings, will now only be used only in a fire service emergency. 

Well 8 ran about 30% of the time between the compliant nitrate sample in April and the non-compliant sample in May. When Well 8 was pumping, its water combined with compliant water in the distribution system, likely lowering contamination severity. Since May 13, compliant wells have been supplying water to the municipal drinking water system.

Information about high nitrates

What Does A High-Nitrate Reading Mean?

Adults and children older than six months can drink the tap water (nitrate at this level is a concern for infants because they cannot process nitrate in the same way older children and adults can). However, if you have specific health concerns, you may want to consult a physician.

What Should I Do?

Do NOT allow infants, pregnant women, or nursing mothers to drink the water. Infants below the age of 6 months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome. Symptoms in infants can develop rapidly. If symptoms occur, seek medical attention immediately.

Please share this information with people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail. 

For more information, contact Hastings Utilities Department water system operator Jim Hardy at (402) 462-3621. After hours calls can be made to Hastings Utilities at (402) 463-1371. Hastings Utilities is located 1228 N. Denver Ave.

Published Date: 06/12/2024

Back to Announcements