Nitrate contamination can be found in rural communities all over the US.
It's an issue in California, and grabbing headlines in Minnesota and Iowa.
Nitrates, as described by the EPA, are "nitrogen-oxygen chemical units which combine with various organic and inorganic compounds." Unfortunately, those combinations can be dangerous, and must be taken very seriously if an individual well or area has a history of nitrate contamination.
Globally, the main man made use for nitrates is for fertilization. When nitrates are not completely absorbed by the soil or the crops, excess can often find itself in groundwater and surface water supplies, which are in turn used in residential drinking water systems. With that said, homes near major agricultural centers should be on high alert for spikes in nitrate contamination. (Despite its intended use, nitrates are tasteless and odorless.)
Households who believe they may have high levels of nitrates in their water should invest in a test by a water professional, and then turn their attention to solving that issue.
When it comes to home water filtration, there are two major categories: point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE). A POU solution can be found in a filtration option like reverse osmosis (RO) technology, which can often been seen installed under kitchen and bathroom sinks. Reverse osmosis uses pressure and semi-permeable membranes that can reduce water pollutants, like nitrates, up to 99%.
A POE system recommended for families with high nitrate problems would be a Culligan Nitrate Reduction Conditioner. Want to know more specifics? Ask the Culligan Man for help.