Water Issues and Treatment
Nitrates and Arsenic
We reside in an area of heavy agricultural use. Nitrates is a common water contaminate found in our region's water due to the presence of agricultural practices. Arsenic is a naturally occurring contaminant found in some ground water sources throughout the north state region.
Recent studies have indicated that more than half of the water supply in California is contaminated with nitrates or arsenic before it is treated. Nitrate contamination can be harmful to your health, especially children. Those with an autoimmune deficiency and those with cancer are at additional risk. Arsenic is a suspected carcinogen.
Nitrates (NO3) are an essential source of nitrogen (N) for plants. When nitrogenfertilizers are used to enrich soils, nitrates may be carried by rain, irrigation and other surface waters through the soil into ground water. Human and animal wastes can also contribute to nitrate contamination of ground water.
Nitrate may be successfully removed from water using treatment processes such as ion exchange, distillation, and reverse osmosis. Contact your local health department for recommended procedures.
Heating or boiling your water will not remove nitrate. Because some of the water will evaporate during the boiling process, the nitrate levels of water can actually increase slightly in concentration if the water is boiled. Mechanical filters or chemical disinfection, such as chlorination, DO NOT remove nitrate from water.