Nitrate in drinking water

Unlike any other water purification technology, WaterStillar removes nitrate from drinking water. Completely. Read more about nitrates and why you should check you water for nitrates.

Nitrates are contaminants that occur naturally in the earth, but are found in elevated concentrations in agricultural areas and rural cities. Although they have no taste or smell , increased levels of nitrate will cause disease in both humans and livestock.

How to remove nitrates in drinking water

A) Distillation (WaterStillar): Eliminates nitrates. Completely

B) Reverse osmosis: A quality membrane will reduce nitrate by 80-90%

C) Ion exchange (with chloride ions): A fully regenerated ion exchanger “removes” nitrates by replacing it with chlorine ions through anion exchange.

D) Activated carbon? – No effect

E) Boiling of water? – No effect whatsoever on nitrate.

What is nitrate?

Nitrates are inorganic compounds of nitrogen and oxygen that occur naturally and synthetically in the environment.

Nitrates occur in the earth’s atmosphere, in the soil and in water. They are easily biodegradable and readily soluble in water. Nitrates are produced by decomposition of plants, animal waste and as an agricultural by-product.

Rainwater, flooding, and soil erosion can all cause nitrates to leak into groundwater.

Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for the growth of plants and crops. Nitrogen is one of the building blocks of the chlorophyll molecule, which enables plants to produce food for themselves through the process of photosynthesis. Fertilizers for lawns, gardens, flowers, and crops all use nitrates to provide that natural energy to plants so they can thrive and stay healthy.

When these fertilizers are carried into streams and lakes by floods or rains, the nitrate content in the groundwater increases.

Levels of nitrate

Across the world different levels of nitrate are considered safe in drinking water by authorities:

EU: 50 mg/liter

US (EPA): 10 mg/liter

Science and research shows considerably lower levels for safe water than the authorities has set out:

International Journal of Cancer: 3,87 mg/liter

EWG: 0,14 mg/liter

What health risks does nitrate cause?

Blue baby syndrome (Methaemoglobinaemia): In the body nitrates are converted to nitrites. The nitrites react with haemoglobin in the red blood cells to form methaemoglobin, affecting the blood’s ability to carry enough oxygen to the cells of the body. Bottle-fed infants less than three months of age are particularly at risk. Most common cause is high levels of nitrates in drinking water.

Colorestal cancer: “We found statistically significant increased risks at drinking water levels above 3.87 mg/L, well below the current drinking water standard of 50 mg/L. Our results add to the existing evidence suggesting increased CRC risk at drinking water nitrate concentrations below the current drinking water standard.”

Smaller babies (Fetal growth restrictions): Several plausible mechanisms might contribute to effects of nitrate on fetal development. First, nitrate can be converted to nitrite in the gastrointestinal tract and is readily absorbed by the circulatory system. Nitrite hinders the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood by oxidation of hemoglobin to methemoglobin. Fetuses are believed to be at particularly high risk of adverse outcomes from nitrite exposure.

The list goes on:

Nitrate intake has also been shown to interfere with thyroid function and to be teratogenic (abnormal physical developments).