What Are Nitrates?

Nitrates are naturally occurring form of nitrogen which is very mobile in water.  It is necessary for plants and used extensively in fertilizers to improve soil and growth.

How do nitrates get into my drinking water?

There are several ways that nitrates can enter the water supply system:

  • Normal surface water runoff can allow nitrates to make their way into lakes and reservoirs, as nitrates are used in fertilizers.
  • Water penetration into the ground from rain and snow melts can carry the nitrates into the soil and into underground water supplies.
  • Leakage from septic tanks or sewer lines can also contaminate water supplies with nitrates.

Are Nitrates Harmful In My Drinking Water?

Nitrates are considered a Primary Health Standard.

The biggest concern is for infants under six months of age. Infants are susceptible to nitrate poisoning because the levels of hydrochloric acid in a baby’s stomach are not strong enough to kill bacteria that convert nitrate to nitrite. This causes a condition commonly called blue-baby syndrome.

Usually by six months of age, the stomach is fully developed and able to kill the bacteria and reduce susceptibility to nitrate poisoning. Studies are being conducted on the risks associated with consumption during pregnancy and nursing. Although no conclusions have been drawn, the studies suggest that direct ingestion by babies is much more harmful than consumption by nursing or pregnant mothers, however it is recommended that women limit nitrate intake during these times

How Do I Get Nitrate Out Of My Drinking Water?

Treatment options for Nitrate removal are installation of:

  • Reverse Osmosis System
  • Distillation System
  • Ion Exchange.

If you think you have nitrates in your drinking water, contact one of our specialists to discuss your water testing and treatment options.