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Problem Water Series: Nitrates in Water


Did you know that water can vary by neighborhood, city and state? The water entering an apartment in New York City can be very different than the water in rural Washington State. Geography plays a major part in water quality. It can be a tricky thing. That’s why so many people rely on a local water expert – the Culligan Man. 

This fall we’ve been talking a lot about problem water and contaminants. No one contaminant is alike and each one affects cities, states and regions differently. Nitrates in water is a perfect example. Nitrates are a potential contaminant in ground water originating from nitrogen, a plant nutrient present in inorganic fertilizers and animal manure (1). Water from rain or irrigation flows down through the soil into the ground water, picking up nitrates along the way (1). So, nitrogen in groundwater is more common in rural areas where there are farms (1). Nitrates in water are also seen in more densely populated areas due to fertilizers used on lawns, septic systems and other wastes (1). 

The contaminants in water vary by how vulnerable your local water source is to contamination. This “vulnerability” of your water source varies, and is determined by how much nitrogen is present above the ground and in the soil, and how water percolates through the ground into your ultimate water source (1). Unless you’re a scientist or geologist, you’re probably wondering what that means. This map from the USGS helps explain where nitrates may be more likely to be present. 

Do you live in one of the red areas on the map – such as in the Midwest or Northeast? Do you live in a rural or urban area? Call your Culligan Man today to see if your drinking water is susceptible to nitrates. Your Culligan Man is the local water expert, and he can help guide you through what is common in your area. He can also help you with testing of nitrate in water and other contaminants in your water. Culligan is #1 in problem water treatment, and we can help reduce nitrates and other contaminants in your water, including government certified testing options. So, call your local Culligan Man or Woman today

*Nitrates in water and other contaminants in water are not necessarily in your drinking water. 



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