How to Remove Nitrates From Water

Are you sure that your drinking water is healthy? It is probably loaded with moderate to maximum nitrate ions. The majority of water across the globe, including Europe and Asia, has maximum contaminant levels of nitrogen. So what you are drinking can be problematic for your reproductive and respiratory systems.

Therefore, you should check how much Nitrate is present in your water supply. If it goes higher than ten mg/l, then you should think of how to remove nitrates from water.

Here are a few ways to purify your water from nitrate contamination.

water filters that treat nitrates contaminatiion

3 Effective Ways For Nitrate Removal

Everyone wants clean drinking water. Here are a few methods to remove drinking water nitrates and improve water quality. 

1- Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a simple water filtration system for nitrates removal. You can get a whole house well water filter with reverse osmosis for improving water quality.

Ro system uses a multi-step technique. First, the water goes through a sieve-like filter that removes dust or dirt particles from tap water.

Then the water passes through a pre-filtration highly efficient activated carbon filter. The carbon cartridge protects it from chloride ions.

There is a third ultra-fine membrane for reverse osmosis, removing even sodium ions and other compounds, including nitrates. The final filters remove unpleasant smells from drinking water.

2- Distillation

Distillation is a straightforward method for nitrate removal in the water supply. This method takes the boiling water principle to the next level. You can have a counter-top distiller for your home or a large storage tank distiller for the industry.

There is a heating chamber which uses energy to boil water. The water evaporates while the contaminants are present at the bottom.

There is a second condensing chamber that condenses the vapors to water. Meanwhile, filters eliminate nitrates and other compounds.

This is the slowest yet effective method but a costly one. So it costs a lot of electricity while producing only a few gallons of drinking water.

3- Ion Exchange

The ion exchange process eliminates nitrates in drinking water by using non-harmful or less-harmful substances that are ionic in nature. Those substances have more affinity for nitrate and contaminants than the ions they have.

The ion exchange unit has a resin of microporous nature. This resin has chloride ions on its surface which they exchange with nitrate or other ions.

You can install this resin in your water supply source and improve water quality. They remove the maximum contaminant level of nitrate ions. But the water should be low in sulfate ions. Otherwise, it will not be much effective.

The exchange system will restore the sodium chloride-containing water systems while expelling wastewater with high nitrate levels.

Ion exchange units are similar to the household water softener except that they use sodium ions in resin.

agricultural irrigation nitrates removal treatment process

What is Nitrate?

Nitrates are salts containing Nitrate, a chemical compound. They occur naturally in soil, atmosphere, water, and rock nitrate deposits. Nitrates are inorganic in nature and polyatomic compounds. They have both nitrogen and oxygen.

Nitrate ions convert into nitrites through nitrate reduction, which is more toxic than nitrates. They are the main component of inorganic fertilizers and chemical fertilizers.

These are majorly responsible for contaminating our water supply and groundwater aquifers. The improper disposal of organic wastes and fertilizers causes elevated nitrate levels.

Central Asia, Europe, America, and North Africa have a high amount of nitrate-nitrogen in water supplies. Nitrates present are undetectable unless tested chemically because nitrates do not have odor or taste.

Source of Nitrate Contamination

There are multiple sources of nitrate poisoning like animal waste, agricultural nitrogenous fertilizers, septic systems, domestic sewage, and industrial waste. Nature also causes somewhat nitrate contamination.

Our air contains 78% nitrogen. But this nitrogen is not harmful to us because it is highly inert. The problem arises when lightning strikes this nitrogen and breaks the bond between atoms. They combine with oxygen to form nitrates. These ions come to the Earth with rain droplets. These nitrate ions add into the water bodies and seep into the groundwater as well.

As the water flows, it causes soil erosion also. The soil is rich in nitrates, and thus, it causes deposition of nitrates in the water supplies.

The irrigation water causes groundwater pollution. At the same time, industrial wastewater and domestic waste add too much nitrate to water supply sources. They all transport nitrates to drinking and cooking water combined.

The Symptoms & Danger of Nitrate in Drinking Water

Drinking water with elevated nitrate levels causes nausea, headaches, abdominal cramps, and high heart rate. Another symptom is having difficulty breathing.

There are so many health risks that nitrate contamination causes. Nitrates have the ability to bind with red blood cells. This reduces their capacity to carry oxygen. The cells do not receive their share of oxygen.

If pregnant women face such a problem, the fetal hemoglobin cannot carry the required amount of oxygen. Nitrates combine with hemoglobin and form methemoglobin, causing methemoglobinemia. The infants born this way have blue skin on the face and limbs. This condition is called the blue baby syndrome.

Nitrates form NOC in the body, which are known teratogens and carcinogens.

Does Water Filter Remove Nitrate?

Water filtration systems widely use water filters to remove nitrates from the drinking water. Whichever method you apply to purify water has membranous or some other filter in it, i.e., reverse osmosis systems, distillation, and ion exchange units.

The nitrate levels should be no more than ten ppm. If it increases, then the RO system is the quickest method to bring down the concentration of Nitrate. It has three water filters to eliminate nitrates.

Which Water Filters Remove Nitrate?

To help you choose the best water filter, we are narrowing down a list of water filters for you.

1- Under Sink Water System

The best under sink water system is most useful in removing harmful contaminants from the drinking water.

It removes both inorganic and organic contaminants, including nitrates, arsenite, arsenate, lead, hydrocarbons, and many other such contaminants. You can install an under-sink water system right under your sink where water enters the tap. The sink hides this filter from view as well.

It has a semipermeable membrane that is 0.0001 microns thick. Thus, it removes the particles that are as small as this size. Almost seven filters can fit in this.

2- Backpacking filter

Backpacking filter is a portable filter system that you can carry outdoor for activities like picnics and hiking as well. It can filter stream and lake water, removing viruses and bacteria too.

You can have clean water outside too because of its comprehensive filtration. The bottled water is not that much pure as the one filtered through this.

It has two types of filters. One is a pumped filter that purifies water from one end to the other. While straw type filter is the one from which you can drink purified water directly.

agriculture water sprinkler with filter that removes nitrates

3- Water Softener

Water softeners are suitable for water supplies with excessive salts and minerals. This is capable of filtering the water supply of the whole house and removing minerals, magnesium, and calcium, etc.

Hard water clogs the pipes and damages them. Thus, water softeners prevent this damage by removing them from water.

The salted water softener needs continuous salt replacement to dissolve the water. But unsalted media does not need this salt. Instead, it uses a neutral medium to remove hard minerals. This filtration makes the water drinkable.

4- Refrigerator Filter

A refrigerator filter can filter up to one canister of water and remove sediments and chlorine mainly. Modern refrigerators provide you with automatic ice and water as they are linked to a water source. Thus, the refrigerator filter purifies that water.

The advanced refrigerator filters can remove hard minerals, heavy metals, and mercury as well. Their filter capacity is up to 10000 gallons. They are easy-to-handle and efficient filters.

FAQs on How to Remove Nitrates From Water

How do I know if my house water supply is contaminated with nitrates?

Nitrates in drinking water are nearly undetectable because of their characteristics. You will not know about excessive Nitrate unless you show certain symptoms. If you suspect there are nitrates in your drinking water you should get it tested. The environmental protection agency (EPA) has set the standard for drinking water that the nitrates in it should not go above ten mg/l.
If the concentration exceeds ten mg/l, you should install purifying systems to make water drinkable. Otherwise, you will face serious health risks.

Does boiling remove Nitrates from drinking water?

No, boiling water is not an effective method for nitrate removal. In fact, it has the opposite effect. Boiling increases the ionic concentration of these hazardous ions by reducing the overall water quantity.

Does Zero Water Remove nitrates from drinking water?

Zero Water is the most efficient and quickest method for purifying drinking water. It instantly reduces nitrates and removes them.
The 5 stage filtration technology of Zero Water removes 99% of nitrates from the drinking water, making the water meet the EPA standards.


The high amount of nitrates in drinking water poses a serious threat to human health.

The drinking water supplies need nitrate removal procedures. Procedures like reverse osmosis treat water to remove impurities like nitrates and make it drinkable.

Always use water filters and drink water treated with purifying methods to ensure your health.

Meta Description

To ensure purity, knowing how to remove nitrates from water using the best methods and water filters is necessary for good-quality drinking water.