Nitrate is a chemical that is commonly found in many foods and drinking water supplies because it occurs naturally. In low levels, nitrate isn’t usually a problem for human health and passes through your body with relative ease.
Higher doses of nitrate can be harmful, however. Nitrates in high concentrations can disrupt thyroid function, cause birth defects, and is even linked to cancer. Needless to say, you definitely do not want large quantities of nitrate in your drinking water.
Unfortunately, well water in particular can be prone to large concentrations of nitrate. So, to protect your household from potential sickness, here’s what you need to know about nitrate.
What Causes High Nitrate Levels in Well Water?
There are several different potential sources of nitrate in your well water. It all depends on your local geological features, industries, and infrastructure conditions.
Nitrate can originate from:
- Animal waste
- Agricultural runoff
- Decaying plants
- Polluted stormwater
- Flooded sewers
- Septic systems
(This is by no means an exhaustive list.)
As mentioned above, the conditions of the land around your well and your home have a strong impact on the presence of nitrate in your well water. Many nitrates come straight from the environment, and some types of terrain are more prone to containing them than others.
What Can You Do About Nitrate in Your Well Water?
The first step that any well owner should take is to get a nitrate test. It doesn’t matter if you suspect that your water contains high nitrate levels or not: all wells should be tested to make sure you don’t exceed the EPA’s standards for nitrate concentrations.
If your well water tests above the EPA’s standards for nitrate in your well water, you will have to take action. This can include treating your well (continuing treatment is required) or finding an alternate water source for your home.
Keeping your water safe is of the utmost importance for your family’s health. For nitrate testing, advice, or other well-related issues, call Goold Wells & Pumps in Valatie! We serve the Capital District, Columbia County, and the Berkshires.