Are there Nitrates in your drinking water?
A risk to your health?
The New Zealand Drinking Water Standard Guideline is that nitrates should be below 10 parts per million (or 11.3 mg/l). Recently in some test samples, we have seen nitrate concentrations over 40 times this level!
The major area of concern with nitrates is with infants and babies in the womb. Methomoglobinemia or "blue baby syndrome" has been linked with concentrations as low as 10 mg/l (10 mg/l is within the recommended guideline) .
High nitrate causes the the babies to turn blue as the blood has decreased ability to carry oxygen. This can lead to the baby becoming ill. The same effect sometimes occurs with adults with stomach problems.
The jury is out on whether there are other long term conditions linked to nitrates and nitrites in water. The farming lobby takes the view that the risks are minimal to adults.
How can nitrates be measured?
Nitrates are tasteless and odourless so must be tested chemically. Call us to arrange a test on 0800 787 392.
Can nitrates be removed?
The levels of nitrates in drinking water can be reduced by 80% bu using a reverse osmosis filter. In most cases should bring the level down to acceptable levels. Please ring us on 0800 787 392 to speak to us in more detail regarding this.
We often find that high levels of nitrates are found in combination with other water issues and although reverse osmosis is one solution we would like to find the best solution for all problems with your water supply.
Where do the nitrates come for?
Farmers apply nitrate to their land as a fertiliser. Some of this nitrate permeates through the ground into the aquifers supplying bore water. Some nitrates are also washed by rain into streams and waterways which leads to the increased frequency of algal blooms, which periodically close some lakes and rivers to recreational use and can kill fish. In general, farmers are working to reduce the level of run off.
Traditionally high levels of nitrates have been linked to bore water drawn from wells near farm buildings. These wells often also have significant bacterial contamination. We would recommend a water test if your water comes from such a bore.
Recently, the nitrates level in drinking water in the Pukekohe and Waikato areas has been rising.
If you don't have a water filter then YOU are the water filter.