Nitrates In Drinking Water


What is Nitrate?

Nitrate is naturally occurring, but also comes from fertilizers and manure that seep into the ground. Nitrate is the anionic part of a salt that commonly occurs with sodium or potassium used in many fertilizers on yards, golf courses, and crops. Other sources of nitrate include discharge from sewage systems and animal waste.  Too much nitrate in your body makes it harder for red blood cells to carry oxygen.

Nitrate is limited in drinking water by the US EPA to a maximum of 10 mg/L. Infants under six months are susceptible because their digestive tract isn’t able to handle this level of Nitrate. Exposure can happen when given a bottle of drinking water or reconstituted formula and can cause methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome).

Why are Nitrates found in drinking water?

Sources of excess nitrate in drinking water can be from the runoff of fertilizers or manure as well as leaching from septic tanks. It is more likely to be found in shallow ground water sources. Natural processes can cause low levels of nitrate in drinking water—usually less than 3 mg/L. The health concern is with levels of nitrate over 10 mg/L.

Did you know that boiling water does not remove nitrates and is not a treatment alternative? In fact, it increases nitrate concentrations as water evaporates.

How to remove Nitrate

There are two common choices for effective residential nitrate mitigation systems: An ion exchange system for whole-house nitrate mitigation, or a reverse osmosis system for drinking and cooking water, which is usually installed under the kitchen sink.


Whole house/Ion Exchange System:

Nitrate mitigation systems work like water softeners but use nitrate-specific resin media for ion exchange. Ion exchange reduces nitrates to a level below the MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level).

K5 filters cutaway pic

Point-of-Use Reverse Osmosis System:

Reverse Osmosis (RO) reduces all contaminants below the MCL and, in most cases, to non-detectable levels. An RO system can be plumbed to an RO faucet and refrigerator.

The K5 Drinking Water Station uses three standard filters – one to remove chlorine, another to remove contaminants such as metals and nitrates, and one more to eliminate additional compounds that could result in foul tastes and odors. The Standard Filter Cartridges include two sediment prefilter options, the reverse osmosis membrane and a postfilter.

Nimbus reverse osmosis system whole house

Reverse Osmosis System:

Our reverse osmosis water treatment equipment is engineered for a wide variety of applications. These systems reduce critical contaminants to provide great-tasting drinking water, high-quality process water and improved commercial equipment performance. KineticoPRO offers a complete range of commercial water treatment solutions. Based on a per-location water analysis, we will work with you to prescribe the ideal water filtration, softening, and reverse osmosis solutions to optimize your water quality and protect your equipment.

Get your water tested FREE  by the water experts at Clearwater Systems to learn about the options available in filtering out Nitrate in your water supply.

Contact us today!

Testing Water On Site