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Wellman Water “Blue Baby” Scare Could Have Been Prevented

Posted: Friday, July 16th, 2010 at 6:26 am

The City of Wellman informed residents on July 1st that infants younger than six months could die of “Blue Baby Syndrome” caused by high levels of nitrates in the city’s water, but Wellman Public Works Director Aaron Shumaker says the danger never existed in the first place. Shumaker is required to test water levels twice each month, and the “infrequently” used source he chose for the sample had dangerous levels of nitrates because of naturally occurring ammonia in the water.  Shumaker told KCII that he didn’t know the source wasn’t regularly used, but adds that the test still wouldn’t have triggered a public safety warning if he had let the faucet run “for an hour or two”, something he says he doesn’t have “that kind of time” to do.
Press play to hear from Aaron Shumaker