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June 30, 2022

City declares water safe to drink

Gilroy’s drinking water supply is now safe for consumption again, according to the city’s public works department.

Public Works Director Daryl Jordan said June 17 the state’s Division of Drinking Water has determined that previous restrictions may now be rescinded and claimed an “all clear” for the Gilroy community.

Jordan added that after the city followed strict state protocols and testing, its water supply is now within all state standards for safe consumption. Public works officials will continue to monitor levels to ensure the water system provides quality water for the community.

The city issued a drinking water warning on June 16 when a routine test of the well at the corner of Camino Arroyo and Gilman Road showed nitrate levels of 12 milligrams per liter, above the federal safety standard of 10 milligrams per liter.

The well was removed from operation at 4:30pm.

A city official declined an interview request seeking further information.

Nitrate in drinking water, which varies throughout the year, can come from natural, industrial or agricultural sources, including septic systems, storm water run-off and fertilizers.

It is a serious health concern for infants less than six months old, the notice states, who may die because high nitrate levels can interfere with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.

Symptoms include shortness of breath and blueness of the skin, which can develop rapidly. Medical attention needs to be sought immediately if symptoms occur.

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, the city advises.

Pregnant women should not consume the water, the notice continues.

Boiling, freezing, filtering or letting water stand does not reduce the nitrate level. 

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