What are Nitrates, and where are they found?
Nitrate occurs naturally in surface and groundwater at concentrations up to 1–2 mg/L and is not harmful at these levels. Most commonly nitrates may be found in areas where significant plant decay underground. Nitrates are created as a part of the decaying process. They are very soluble and can move easily through soil.
The other major source of Nitrates comes from animal waste run-off, excessive use of fertilizers, or seepage of human sewage from private septic systems.
Does my tap water contain Nitrates?
In the U.S, all of the large utility companies have reported nitrate levels below the legal limit of 10ppm. Unfortunately, some 20.000 people, mainly in Texas are served by smaller utility companies with levels between 10-30ppm – all of which are below the legal European limit of 50ppm and Australian limit of 100ppm.
Check the status of your local utility company on the EWG website.
If your water comes from a well, or you live near a highly agricultural area chances are your concentration in Nitrate is higher than the legal limit, and you should test your water. Buying a test-strip kit will give you a quick approximation in minutes. Below, a picture of the Nitrate reduction before and after TAPP Smart water filter.
How dangerous are Nitrates, and how to reduce them?
Below is a table provided by the Oregon Health Authority. As explained earlier, the legal limit may vary depending on the country. What is for sure is that babies and pregnant women should not be exposed to high level of Nitrates.
Depending on your level of Nitrates, you might want to reduce them. Carbon Block filters such as TAPP, will reduce about 70-80% of Nitrates (see test results). Compared to other more bulky and expensive alternatives such as Ion Exchange or Reverse Osmosis, carbon block faucet mounted filters provide an easy to install solution to reduce Nitrates well below the legal limit.