Nitrate in water is undetectable without testing because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. A water test for nitrate is highly recommended for households with infants, pregnant women, nursing mothers, or elderly people. These groups are the most susceptible to nitrate or nitrite contamination. Nitrate-nitrogen occurs naturally in groundwater, usually at concentrations far below a level of concern for drinking water safety. An initial test of a new water supply is needed to determine the baseline nitrate concentration. Therefore, if the water supply has never been tested for nitrate, it should be tested.
In addition to testing for Nitrates you may also want to test for Bacteria. Bacteriological contamination in water may contribute to an individual’s susceptibility to the presence of nitrate. All drinking water sources also should be tested for bacteriological contamination, particularly if the nitrate-nitrogen level exceeds the 10 mg/L standard. The presence of both nitrate and bacteriological contamination may indicate a poor well location or construction, and possible contamination from surface drainage, feedlots, sewage systems, or some other source.
If you have any questions, or concern about Bacti or Nitrates in your well water, please feel free to give us a call at 301-293-3340.