The existence of nitrates in groundwater is common in many parts of the world. It’s when the concentration exceeds the level considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency that there’s a problem.

Nitrates can occur naturally or they can come from over-applying nitrogen fertilizers, wastewater, manure and other sources of nitrogen. Crops greatly benefit from the boost nitrogen provides, but they can take up only so much. After that, the nitrogen can travel downward through the soil until reaches groundwater. There it lingers as nitrates. Nitrates found today in groundwater can be from fertilizer that was overapplied decades ago — called a “legacy pollutant.”

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.