Columbus, West Point dealing with water problem

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COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) — Columbus residents are being urged to use filtered or bottled water if they provide infants with baby formula, given the excessive manganese levels in the city water supplies.

Federal agencies have said manganese levels of 1,000 micrograms per liter of water are acceptable for adults, but the maximum advised for infants is 300 micrograms or less. Columbus water well samples tested out in May at 336, 409 and 605 micrograms.

Medical experts says manganese is a trace mineral needed by the human body but can cause tremors and other problems when body levels are too high.

The situation is more alarming 46 miles to the northeast in West Point. Well samples taken there earlier this year showed levels above 1,000 micrograms.

West Point residents are being urged to use filtered or bottled water for drinking until the city’s water plant is fitted with filters that can remove excess levels.

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