What can I do about elevated nitrate-N in my drinking water?

If your well tests above 10 mg/L nitrate-N, do not boil your water! Boiling water increases the nitrate-N concentration in the water. Instead, switch to bottled water if there is an infant, small child, pregnant woman, or woman of childbearing age in your home. Elevated nitrate-N concentrations are only a concern for water that is being consumed or used in the cooking of food and beverages to be consumed. It is not a concern for daily tasks such as dishwashing, laundry, bathing, etc.

To deal with elevated nitrate-N concentrations long term there are three options:

  • Bottled Water
  • Treatment System - There are a variety of treatment systems available to homeowners to treat water quality issues. Common types of treatment systems for the removal of nitrate-N include reverse osmosis, distillation, and anion exchange. These systems can range from a single point-of-use system to whole-home treatment.
  • New Well - Private well owners may consider installing a new well to try and achieve better water quality in their private well. However, there is no guarantee that by installing a new well a private well owner will reach better quality of water.

Show All Answers

1. What is Nitrate-N?
2. Where does Nitrate-N come from?
3. How do I know if Nitrate-N is elevated in my drinking water?
4. What can I do about elevated nitrate-N in my drinking water?