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City of Newell issues a “do not use” water advisory due to possible mercury contamination

  • 7/8/2020 3:34:00 PM
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NEWELL—The city of Newell in Buena Vista County reported possible mercury contamination in the drinking water.

The city’s water supply operator noticed what appears to be a small amount of mercury in a wastewater drain at the city’s treatment plant this morning.

While the city works to determine the source of the mercury and its potential to contaminate drinking water, the DNR recommends using bottled or an alternative source of water for all uses, especially drinking, making ice, infant formula, brushing teeth or preparing food.

DNR recommends people avoid skin contact with the water. It’s also important to provide safe water for pets. Do not boil water, as that could concentrate any contaminants.

The city has collected water samples for analysis. Initial results may be available later today, but final lab results will likely be available on Thursday.

Look for recent updates on the city’s Facebook page. Or, call city hall.

For information on mercury’s health effects, check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website on mercury.