Remove Nitrate From Drinking Water

Nitrate can be removed from drinking water very effectively using a Reverse Osmosis System.

Nitrate is a common drinking water contaminant, especially in areas of the world where intensive commercial agriculture is practiced. As with most water contaminants, nitrate has many useful applications the most common of which is its use as a commercial fertilizer. Nitrate is an essential nutrient for the growth of all green plants. In areas where the land has been heavily farmed over many years - as is the case with most commercial farms in North America, the soil naturally becomes depleted in nitrate. It is added back to the soil as a fertilizer too boost the nitrate content of the soil and to make the plants grow faster, larger, and with greater yield. The trouble, is that some of the nitrate added to the field may not be absorbed by the growing plants. This nitrate can be washed into local waterways and ultimately find its way into private and public drinking water supplies. Nitrate is a very good thing on a farmers field, but it is a very dangerous chemical to find in drinking water.

Why Is Nitrate Dangerous?

Our bodies require oxygen in order to function. Oxygen must be transported from our lungs to all the tissues of our body and it is the role of our blood to carry this out. In the blood there are a number of cells. Red blood cells bind oxygen and carry it to the various tissues of our bodies.

What is unique about Nitrate, is that it is able to bind with the red blood cells also. In fact, the red blood cells would rather bind to a nitrate molecule rather than an oxygen molecule. Every red blood cell that binds to a nitrate molecule is unable to bind to oxygen. If nitrate levels are too high in the body, it is not possible for the body to bind and transport enough oxygen to vital organs and other tissues.

This problem can be particularly pronounced in babies. “Blue Baby” syndrome is the name given to the condition where babies poisoned with high levels are nitrates are unable to bind enough oxygen in the blood. Babies may develop a bluish tint because of low body oxygen levels.

How Can Nitrate Be Removed from Drinking Water?

Nitrate is not particularly hard to remove from water. There are a number of selective medias that will actively remove nitrate, but by far the most common and easy-to-use technology for nitrate removal is a Reverse Osmosis System (R.O. for short). An R.O. system uses a non-selective membrane to remove almost all dissolved contaminants from the water. When using R.O. to remove a dangerous contaminant such as nitrate it is very advisable to use a system that carries a 3rd party validation for performance. In other words, look for a Reverse Osmosis System where there performance of the system has been tested and verified by an independent body. At aQuatell we offer the WQA Gold Seal certified Goldine-50 system.