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How to Remove Nitrates From Water Explained

Published by: Paulo Baker

How to Remove Nitrates From Water

Starting from the basics such as what is Nitrate, how does it enter in drinking water and its harmful effects, to taking a look at how you can remove Nitrates from water, in this article we have made it a point to go through how to all such important points in order to ensure that all your questions are answered in one place. 

Nitrate: What Is It?

Known to be ions that take birth when oxygen and nitrogen come together, nitrates are compounds that can appear naturally as well as synthetically. The nitrate ion includes one atom of nitrogen along with three oxygen atoms, making it NO3.

Nitrates can be mainly seen in inorganic fertilizers which are used by farmers spread all around the country. Nitrates are also used in the making of explosives in the form of oxidizing agents. These explosives are used for mining and construction. 

Moreover, potassium nitrate is used to make glass, and the process of preservation uses sodium nitrate. Nitrates stop several kinds of bacteria to grow on meat as well. In terms of their occurrence, nitrates can appear in plant life. Nitrate is one of the key nutrients which are required by plants in order to grow and flourish. This is the reason why nitrates are added to fertilizers. 

We all know that it is harmful to us to inhale emissions and fertilizers, this is because nitrates are added to them, and they can be hazardous to our health

How Do Nitrates Make Their Way Into Drinking Water?

Naturally, nitrates make an appearance in the groundwater or the surface at a certain level, which necessarily does not cause any health issues. Improper construction of well, overuse of fertilizers, the well’s location, or inappropriate disposal of animal and human waste can be the reason why well water has high levels of nitrate. 

This picture represents nitrate contamination in shallow groundwater aquifers that supply public drinking water systems.

Waste that comes from food processing, animal feedlots, septic systems, industrial waste, and fertilizers can be the sources of nitrates. 

This water then flows through the water systems directly into your homes, and that is how nitrates get into our drinking water. 

Does My Drinking Water Have Nitrate?

To find out if your drinking water has nitrate or not, you should always get in touch with a state certification officer and get a hold of all the laboratories near your area. These laboratories will do the job of performing several tests on your drinking water, and they will tell you whether the water has nitrate or not. 

How To Remove Nitrates From Water?

If you are planning to boil the water to get rid of nitrate, then you should know that boiling the water won’t do the job. As a matter of fact, boiling the water can increase the concentration levels of nitrate in the water as a lot of water evaporates when you boil it. 

Chemical disinfection or mechanical filters do not get rid of nitrates as well. You should make it a point to get your water tested at regular intervals. 

Talking about removing nitrate from water, at-home procedures do not do the job. If you want to remove nitrate, then you can either remove the main source of nitrate itself, or you should get appropriate water filtration systems installed at home so that nitrate and other unwanted particles get removed from the water before it reaches your glass. 

High Levels Of Nitrates: Health Risks

If nitrate levels are too high, it can be risky for babies who feed on formula, and it is also highly risky for the unborn foetus when it is in the mother’s womb. Nitrate prevents oxygen from travelling into your body. The symptoms include blueness around the feet, hands, and mouth. This is the reason why the syndrome is termed as Blue Baby Syndrome, as it occurs in babies and the color blue acts as an indication. The syndrome can be life-threatening. 


In a nutshell, nitrates can appear naturally as well as physically and intake of high levels of nitrate can be harmful to your health, especially for babies who are less than 6 months old. Our advice would be to keep an eye on your drinking water by getting it tested regularly, and getting a proper filtration system to ensure that nitrates stay away from your drinking water. 


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Article by:

Paulo Baker

Paulo is a senior writer at Dash Appliances, where he research, writes, and reviews home and commercial water filters. Paulo is covering home-related things like water filters, vacuum cleaners, and more since 2019. When he's not researching and testing, he's traveling and playing golf.

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