Nitrate

What is Nitrate?

Nitrogen would be a problem when the nitrogen in the soil becomes nitrate form (No3-). Nitrate is a big problem because it is very mobile and can move with water and soil. The problem usually starts with groundwater. Nitrate can also seep into ponds, streams, and rivers. It decomposes plants and organic matter. It can also come from rainfalls, nitrogen fertilizers, and manure. Nitrogen fertilizers are normally used for the production of crops.

How do you know nitrate is present in your water?

Whether or not nitrate is present in the groundwater depends on the soil that is under the ground and/or bedrock conditions. It also depends on the depth of the groundwater. If the depth of groundwater is shallow and the underlying soil is sandy, there is a bigger chance that nitrate will seep in than if the groundwater is deep and the underlying soil is as heavy as clay. If there is a combination of both, there is a 50/50 chance.

What is the "blue-baby" syndrome?

When nitrates are present in the groundwater, the greatest concerns are for infants less than one year old and young or pregnant animals. High levels of nitrates can lead to what they call anoxia, or internal suffocation due to toxification. When the nitrate exceeds 10-ppm nitrate, that is when precaution should be taken. The most common side effect would be nitrate poisoning in babies. It's characteristics includes a bluish color to the skin(around the baby's eyes and mouth). These symptoms are commonly referred to as the blue-baby syndrome.

The Nitrogen Cycle!

Nitrogen is in the air almost 79% of the air is made up of nitrogen .As said before nitrogen helps plants grow , but they can't use nitrogen when it's in a complex form , it must be fixed to a different chemical state which is nitrate or ammonium. Nitrogen can be fixed during storms when lighting provides the energy to make the conversation. Consequently, rainwater contains some fixed nitrogen. Nitrogen fixation might also can be done by cyanobacteria that live in soil or water or by the roots of plants .These bacteria are called nitrogen fixing bacteria . Even though nitrogen fixation is the real starting point of the nitrogen cycle, it's important in terms of decomposing dead animals and plants.

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