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Learn: How to remove nitrates from drinking water? | Filter out nitrate naturally

How to remove nitrates from drinking water naturally


If your area has nitrate drinking and you are seeking how to remove nitrate from drinking water? You should be aware that if you have a private well and reside in a rural region, there is a strong probability that your water includes nitrates in your tap or well water. Nitrates are a frequent pollutant that is tasteless, colorless, and odorless, but they may cause health issues in people and animals that ingest large amounts of them. 

There is no longer any need to consume nitrate drinking water, and you should refrain from doing so for the sake of your health. If you have a well, it is advised that you get it tested routinely (once a year at the very least) to check for nitrates in drinking water and react accordingly.

In this article, we will address the issues regarded nitrate drinking water, Nitrates, the safe level to consume, and how to remove nitrates from the drinking water and an aquarium.

What is Nitrates?

Nitrate is a chemical generated when nitrogen reacts with either oxygen or ozone to create nitrite. Nitrates are also produced in enormous quantities by plants and animals, and they are discharged into the environment via smoke, industrial pollution, and automobile exhaust. Even though all living things require nitrogen, excessive nitrate in drinking water may harm human health, particularly babies and pregnant women.

How do Nitrates get into the water?

  • Many people would be thinking, How does nitrate get into the water? Nitrate can exist naturally in surface and groundwater at levels that do not normally threaten human health. Water treatment facilities, as a result, continuously check the nitrate concentration of the source water and treat it as necessary. Thus, there is little danger of excessive nitrate in public drinking water levels.
  • In contrast, drilling private wells is a far more difficult endeavor. Extremely high amounts of nitrate in well water are often the consequence of poor well construction or well placement, excessive use of chemical fertilizers, or poor human and animal waste disposal.
  • Fertilizers, septic systems, animal feedlots, industrial waste, and food processing waste are all potential sources of nitrate that might contaminate your water supply.

How Much Is Nitrate Safe In Drinking Water?

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have developed regulations and limitations for drinking water levels to preserve the health of infants and young children. While private wells are not subject to the EPA or the DEP regulation, it is recommended that they adhere to these standards. More than 45 mg/l of nitrate or ten mg/l of nitrate-nitrogen should not be present in the water.

What’s the risk if Nitrate levels are excessively high?

As long as the nitrate level in your water stays below the maximum contamination limit (MCL) set by the USEPA, there is no need to be concerned. Drinking water that contains high nitrate levels or over the maximum contaminant level (MCL) may, nevertheless, result in health issues. Following the Normal nitrate levels in water ppm, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the maximum nitrate contamination level is 10 milligrams per Liter (mg/L)
When exposed to water with nitrate levels over the MCL, infants as young as six months are at risk of severe illness and death, in the worst-case scenario, as stated on the EPA’s website. High nitrate in drinking water levels is harmful to newborns, the elderly, the chronically sick, and anybody else. 

Effects of nitrates on the human body

Drinking nitrate-tainted water may increase the risk of public health issues, particularly for newborns, children, and pregnant women. Effects of nitrates in drinking water on humans are listed below:

  • High concentrations of nitrate may harm an infant’s red blood cells, preventing them from properly transporting oxygen throughout the body.
  • Methemoglobinemia or blue baby syndrome occurs when red blood cells underperform nitrogen. The infant’s hemoglobin may be changed to methemoglobin, which cannot transport oxygen like hemoglobin.
  • Methemoglobinemia causes blue nail beds, a blue nose, mouth, and lips in babies. Fever, diarrhea, and vomiting are common symptoms.
  • Pregnant women should avoid untreated water with high nitrate levels to protect their unborn children. Baby formula with high nitrate water is also dangerous.
  • A question that could come to mind Does nitrate affect adults? According to the research, nitrate is absorbed and eliminated in the urine. However, long term exposure is responsible for GI disturbances
    due to the formations of nitrosamines, nitrosamines are reported to cause the risk of cancers. 
  • Nitrates in water may cause nausea, headaches, fast heartbeat, and gastrointestinal issues in adults.
  • According to WHO research, nitrate is likely carcinogenic in both adults and children, while only high nitrate levels are believed to be carcinogenic. Finally, further study is required to fully comprehend the drinking water problems containing tiny amounts of nitrates.

How to Remove nitrate from drinking water?

What removes nitrates from water? Nitrates are one of the most challenging pollutants to remove from water. How to remove nitrates from drinking water is now no more a challenge. Nitrates may be removed from water using various methods, including reverse osmosis, blending, distillation, and ion exchange resin. Some ways will explain how to remove nitrates from water.

Reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis removes nitrates, amoebas, lead, mercury, arsenic, fluoride, bacteria, viruses, and many more. It has a semi-permeable membrane that is coated with small holes that function as a sieve, separating the clean hydrogen and oxygen from the impurities in the water. The membrane has a small micron rating that can effectively remove ions from water, such as nitrates. The water that has been cleaned and treated travels through the membrane and accumulates in a holding tank. After being rejected, the membrane rejects the remaining pollutants flushed down the drain in a brine solution.

Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective techniques for getting rid of nitrates in drinking water, and it is capable of removing more than 98 percent of all pollutants found in water. In general, reverse osmosis can remove anywhere between 83 and 92 percent of nitrates from drinking water.

Reverse osmosis systems are available in the whole house, under sink and countertop styles that you can install according to your choice, ease, and reliability. 


It is usually asked that Does a water softener remove nitrates? So, a typical water softener removes the hardness of water, but only the anion-exchange method removes nitrate. But water softener uses an ion-exchange methodology, during which minerals are replaced with sodium. An ion exchange device functions similarly to a standard residential water softener.

In nitrate removal water softener, a strong base anion-exchange resin in the form of chloride is used. As the water passes through resin media, nitrate and other anions in water are exchanged with chloride ions, leaving the chloride ions left behind. When the resin-filled nitrate is regenerated with brine solution, the anion exchange is reversed; thus, anions are replaced by chloride ions. The resin exchanges chloride ions for nitrate and sulfate ions present in the solution to extract nitrate from water. 

Installing an anion resin point-of-use nitrate filter is the most frequent and successful technique for removing nitrates from a whole house’s worth of wastewater.


you may remove nitrates from water in different ways. You can use the process of water distillation to filter nitrates out of drinking water. A water distiller works by simulating the Earth’s natural filtering process, which is the hydrologic cycle, to remove practically all waterborne pollutants. Water evaporates from surface waters such as seas, lakes, and reservoirs in the hydrologic cycle and returns to the atmosphere.

The water that falls from the sky is soft, slightly acidic, and contaminant-free since it falls from the sky. Salts, germs, silt, and pollutants such as nitrates are all included in this category. All contaminants inside the water droplet disappear when the molecule transitions from a liquid state to a vapor state during the evaporation process. While still in the atmosphere, the gas condenses. It returns to the ground in a liquid form as rain and snow, both examples of precipitation.


It is another method to lower nitrates in drinking water in which contaminated water is mixed with clean water from another source to reduce overall nitrate concentration. But it is not safe for infants but is adequate for livestock & healthy grown-ups. Mining a new well to more in-depth water with less nitrate level may be a potential remedy in certain areas.

How do you test for nitrates in water? 

There are two methods to test for nitrates in well water: a private laboratory or a kit.

  • Private laboratory testing is the finest method to understand your water quality.
  • A lab test can tell you whether and how much nitrates are in your water.

If your water supply includes more than ten mg/L nitrates, you’ll need to act soon. Even if your water has less nitrate than the acceptable level, you may want to get it tested for nitrate. You may test for nitrates in drinking water sources between laboratory testing to see whether there is an unusual rise in the pollutant. You may purchase test kits online that you can dip into stagnant water to see whether it contains pollutants. High nitrate causes the strip color to change.

Nitrates in Freshwater Aquarium: How to remove nitrate from the aquarium?

In freshwater aquariums, standard levels should be lower than 50 ppm at all times.No2 and No3 levels in the aquarium can be fatal to fishes, both are similar, but nitrite is more toxic even in low levels than nitrate. A nitrite level of just 1 ppm is enough to poison, yet nitrate levels can be 100 times that in some cases.

Do you need help, and if your nitrates are over 50 PPM? Then How to remove Nitrates from aquarium water? Here are the best nitrate removing ways for freshwater aquariums:

  • Water changes every month. 
  • Live Plants effectively reduce nitrates from the aquarium
  • Buy best Nitrate Removers for freshwater aquarium, the filter media designed to remove nitrate through chemical or biological means. 

It is necessary to remove because nitrates are bad for fish when exposed to high levels. Hence,  poisoning occurs. Nitrate poisoning fish symptoms include chronic conditions such as lethargy, breathing problems, abnormal swimming, fading color, and curled body.


I have given in-depth information on how to remove nitrates from drinking water. Water treatment technologies such as ion exchange, distillation, and reverse osmosis effectively remove nitrate from drinking water. 
You cannot remove nitrate from water by heating it or boiling it. Given that some water may evaporate during the boiling process, the nitrate levels in the water may grow in concentration if the water is cooked. Neither mechanical filtration nor chemical disinfection, such as chlorination, effectively removes nitrate from drinking water. After installing a treatment system, it is important to have your well water regularly tested, at least once a year, to ensure that the issue has been resolved.


Some others question’s answers for our readers that might be helpful for reading.

How to lower nitrates without a water change?

There is no specific need to change your water to a lower nitrate level. You can lower without changing as follows:
You can install the best water nitrate removal filters so that plants use nitrate.
you can add more live plants to your aquarium 
Cut back to too much feeding
Reduce the fish population
Use big tank 
Does Algone nitrate remover work? Algone nitrate filter removes nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia from the water. Algone forms an ideal aquatic system for fishes to provide them a suitable environment by removing these contaminants.

Does boiling water remove Nitrates?

You cannot remove nitrates from water by boiling. The nitrate content of water rises when it is brought to a boil. When the water boils, a portion of it is lost through evaporation. As more water goes from a liquid to a gas, nitrate in the remaining water increases. Boiling water destroys harmful bacteria and lowers chlorine concentrations, but it does not kill or decrease nitrates. The water is heated until it becomes gaseous, at which point it is discarded.

Does the water conditioner remove nitrates in the aquarium?

Some air conditioners change the nitrates to nitrogen gas, permitting it to escape through the surface. Other water conditioners attach the nitrates, generating them harmless to fish and assembling it possible for the bacteria in your biological filter to eradicate them, resulting in low nitrate levels. 

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