A nitrate advisory issued by the city of Columbus for Franklin County residents whose water comes from the Dublin Road water plant is expected to remain in effect for 10 to 14 days.

A nitrate advisory issued by the city of Columbus for Franklin County residents whose water comes from the Dublin Road water plant is expected to remain in effect for 10 to 14 days.

That means pregnant women and babies younger than 6 months should not drink the tap water, nor should the water be used to prepare infant formula or other food for babies of that age.

The affected area includes Grandview Heights, Grove City, Hilliard, Lincoln Village, Marble Cliff, the University District, Upper Arlington, Urbancrest and Valleyview as well as the west, central and southwest sections of Columbus.

According to a notice issued by the city Monday, June 8, "Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrates in excess of the maximum contaminant level could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and what is known as blue baby syndrome, indicated by blueness of the skin."

Adults and older children can continue to drink the tap water, which also should be safe for pets, according to the advisory.

The tap water should not be boiled because doing so increases the nitrate level.

The maximum nitrate level allowed is 10 parts per million. Water tested at the Dublin Road plant Monday registered 10.8 ppm.

The Ohio Department of Health is making bottled water available to pregnant women and babies younger than 6 months who live in the affected areas. Bottled water will be distributed at Westland Mall in front of the former Macy's, 4141 W. Broad St., and in the front loop at Columbus Public Health, 240 Parsons Ave., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4-6 p.m. daily.

Elevated nitrate levels are caused by fertilizer and agricultural runoff in the Scioto River watershed that supplies the Dublin Road water plant. The city of Columbus is in the midst of a $200 million project to expand capacity and improve water treatment at the plant that is expected to be completed in 2017. It includes a $35 million ion-exchange treatment facility that would allow the plant to more effectively handle nitrate levels.

Updates about nitrate levels also will be posted on at utilities.columbus.gov.