The small town of Buger (just some one thousand residents) has a problem with its tap water.

The latest analysis of water quality reveals an excess of nitrates, so the town hall has been obliged to prohibit the consumption of tap water. Mayor Liniu Siquier says that this isn’t a new problem, but recognising that there is one, the town hall has followed the letter of the law on health advice in telling residents not to drink tap water or to use it for cooking.

Solutions that the town hall is looking at require a balance between finding the best option and finding funds to spend on it. One of these options is a treatment of resins in order to neutralise the excess level of nitrates. Another is the building of an osmosis plant, though this might prove to be prohibitively expensive.

The issue of nitrates in Buger has existed for years, but during the previous council administration residents were not advised about the risks of consuming water. There was a notice of October 2014 from the regional health ministry, says the mayor, which was not acted upon. No warning was issued and no remedial action was taken. Other municipalities have also been affected.