Nitrates are one of many types of contaminates that UK citizens consume on a daily basis via the water supplies that run directly to homes and businesses throughout the country. Many Peopple are often unaware of this fact or even why nitrates are found in water supplies to begin with. Let alone what, If any health issues are associated with this contaminant. In this article we'll explain why nitrate is found in your water, and what you should do about it if you're concerned of the effect it may be having on your health.
Ground water supplies naturally contain a variety of chemical compounds, including nitrate. Most commonly nitrates may be found where the region local to the groundwater has had significant plant decay underground. Nitrates are created as a part of the decaying process, and are able to move relatively quickly and easily through soil, owing to how soluble they are. Alternatively groundwater cane become contaminated with higher levels of nitrates through animal waste run-off from dairies and feedlots, excessive use of fertilizers, or seepage of human sewage from private septic systems.
The current UK regulatory standard for Nitrate is 50mg per litre. It’s generally accepted that low levels of nitrates typically pose little threat to the majority of adults; however pregnant women, infants and those with a G6PD deficiency should take special care as to the monitoring of their water supplies. This is due to the fact that at significantly high levels of consumption you increase the risk of Methaemoglobinaemia which can turn your skin to a blue colour. If you experience these symtoms we advice that you visit a hospital immieditely.
Whilst you can’t see, smell or taste nitrate itself, the growth of bacteria that can occur where there is excessive levels of nitrate may well effect the odour or taste. If you're experiencing unexpected headaches and fatigue these can bee symptoms linked to high levels of nitrate in your water.
We advise that you contact your water supplier or a plumber if you have concerns about nitrate levels in your tap water. Nitrate can be removed from water using an variety of processes, including: ion exchange, distillation, and reverse osmosis. It’s important to note that heating or boiling nitrate contaminated water will have little effect and can actually even increase the concentration.