Research Links Nitrate In Drinking Water To Birth Defects


Below you will read yet again, "another new study" citing birth defects from nitrates.  These 5 Forum Q&A Updates are over the course of 14 years. 


Review with your Aquathin Team, print, and remind your existing Customers how well they are protectedand advise your new Customers how well they and their next generations will be protected.


News Feature | May 12, 2016   WATER ONLINE NEWSLETTER

Research Links Nitrate In Drinking Water To Birth Defects



Nitrate is linked to birth defects in a new report on the effects of prenatal exposure to contaminated well water.


The report by Texas A&M University Professor Jean Brender was recently published in the scholarly journal Current Environmental Health Reports. It is a review of previous research.

In several case-control studies published since 2000, women giving birth to babies with neural tube defects, oral clefts, and limb deficiencies were more likely than control mothers to be exposed to higher concentrations of drinking water nitrate during pregnancy, the paper said.


Higher concentrations of atrazine, an agricultural compound, and arsenic were also linked to birth defects. The review recommended more research on these correlations.

Brender provided advice for pregnant women via Texas Public Radio.


"If a woman is on a public water supply and they'll know that because they'll get a water bill every month they should check with their water supplier regarding what levels of nitrate and atrazine have most recently been found in their water, Brender says. Here's the problem drinking water from private wells is not regulated by the EPA or the state of Texas so it would be a good idea for people on private wells to get their water tested.


Nitrate is a hot topic among water industry professionals, who say the common agricultural compound is a major threat to water quality. In Iowa, for instance, more than half of state waterways had nitrate contamination above federal drinking water standard last week, the Des Moines Business Record reported.


The widespread nitrate pollution last week also came soon after many farmers applied anhydrous ammonia to fields, the report said, citing University of Iowa scientists.

Nitrate levels are well ahead of where they were in previous years by this time. The North Raccoon River levels were running as high as they were in late May last year and September of 2014. The South Fork Iowa River in north-central Iowa was running about double the drinking water limit, the report continued.


As the evolution of contaminate studies goes, the article below delivers a truly critical finding.  Agrarian regions including beautiful wine countries, are rife with nitrates from over fertilization and runoffas well as regions with industrial animal farms (cattle, pigs, chickens). 

You will read in the entire release, where mothers of babies with spina bifida were twice as likely to have consumed 5 milligrams or more of nitrate from their daily drinking water than women whose babies had no major defect. NOTE:  the nitrate Maximum Contaminate Level in the U.S. is 10 mg/land 50 mg/l in Europe and World Health Organization set limit.

Aquathin Heartland recently completed a municipal nitrate reduction system in Oklahoma serving a community of 10,000 people.

Water Technology Magazine. July 16, 2013

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, Calif. A new study linking nitrate contamination to birth defects hits hard in San Joaquin Valley where nitrate contamination threatens the citys drinking water for 250,000 people, according to the Sacramento Bee.

In 2012 research showed that nitrate pollution is extensive and expanding in the underground water of Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties, stated the article.

Some of the birth defects include spina bifida, cleft palate and missing limbs.

Repairs have been slowed down in many small towns because of bureaucratic and funding delays, noted the article.

This contamination is so dangerous," said Maria Herrera of the Visalia-based Community Water Center. "Many towns need help with their drinking water, and we're still not seeing enough."

Read the entire press release here.



OK, here comes more than you ever wanted to know about nitrate resin:


1.  Aquathin uses the Synchromatic setup vs. single tank used by most other companies.  The unit looks like the Synchromatic 45 and 60K size softener complete with Clip Cabinet.  The reason Aquathin uses twin tank setup is that if a Customer uses water during regeneration of a single tank unit, concentrated nitrates can go downstream.  Also, if a Customer fails to add salt to the brine tank allowing the nitrate resin to exhaust, the nitrate resin will sluff off higher concentrations than found in source water.  The twin tank design prevents nitrates downstream during regeneration...but, the Customer must maintain salt in the brine tank to avoid sluffing.


2.  Nitrate resin identifies nitrates, nitrites and fact is prefers sulfates first.  It reduces 90+%.  So, we need a total water analysis that includes nitrates, nitrites and sulfates.  Add those 3 together and divide by 17.1 to convert as CaCO3.  1 cuft nitrate resin has a capacity of 16,500 gr/g as CaCO3 (although it doesn't remove hardness...this is a standard industry calculation and way of expressing capacity).  Divide your converted gr/g into 16,500 to understand gallon capacity.  Aquathin standard load is 1 cuft per tank...but we add more depending on higher nitrate, nitrite, sulfate concentrations.


3.  Nitrate resin is anionic regenerating with the chloride side of salt vs. softener cation that uses the sodium side of the salt.  Sometimes we load nitrate and softener resin in the same tank to remove hardness as well if source hardness is less than 10gr/ an added benefit to the Customer.  BUT nitrate resin will not tolerate hardness of 10gr or more.  So if the source water is 15 gr/g or 20 gr/g, a softener must be installed upstream of the SYN-N.  Nitrate resin doesn't tolerate iron...again the reason for upstream softening and / or iron filter or Superchlorination.


Aquathin has received an extraordinary amount of inquiries concerning "nitrates" in the past couple months.  We've also supplied a nice amount of solutions !


I have pasted at bottom herewith, our original Forum Q & A Nitrates for your convenience;  and just above that, you will find a Nitrate FAQ with information from Aquathin University.   This FAQ is excellent to print out and provide your Customers concerned with nitrates.


RO by itself is not efficient for nitrates.  Your patented RODI process is! (refer to Report Card and lab tests).  Further, Aquathin deals with water treatment for farm animals and POE with the Aquathin SYN-N Synchromatic Series Water Conditioner loaded with a nitrate specific resin.



Fact sheet: Nitrate in drinking water

This fact sheet from the Washington State Department of Health discusses nitrate as a drinking water contaminant -- where it comes from, health effects, regulations and more.

What is nitrate?

Nitrate is a chemical found in most fertilizers, in manure and in the liquid waste discharged from septic tanks. Natural bacteria in soil can convert nitrogen into nitrate.

How can nitrate get into my well water?

Nitrate can be carried by rain or irrigation water down through the soil and into the groundwater. If your well draws water from this groundwater, your well water may contain nitrate.

Why is nitrate in drinking water a problem?

Nitrate can affect red blood cells and reduce their ability to carry oxygen to the body. In most adults and children these affected blood cells rapidly return back to normal. However the blood cells of infants can take much longer to return to normal. As a result, infants who are given water with high levels of nitrate (or foods made with nitrate contaminated water) may develop a serious health condition due to the lack of oxygen. This condition is called methemoglobinemia or "blue baby syndrome." Some scientists think that diarrhea can make this problem even worse.

How is nitrate in drinking water regulated?

The U.S. EPA has established a federal drinking water standard, called a Maximum Contaminant Level, of 10 milligrams per liter (mg/L), or 10 parts per million (ppm) for nitrate. Public water systems are required to sample for various contaminants, including nitrate, on a regular basis. There is no required sampling of private individual wells. However, private well owners are encouraged to test their well for nitrate on a regular basis.

Signs of "blue baby syndrome"

An infant with moderate to serious "blue baby syndrome" may have a brownish-blue color due to the lack of oxygen. This condition may be hard to detect in infants with dark skin. In mild to moderate cases babies may have the same symptoms as when they have a cold or another infection (fussy, tired, diarrhea or vomiting). While there is a simple blood test to see if an infant has "blue baby syndrome," doctors may not think to do this test for babies with mild to moderate symptoms.

What to do about "blue baby syndrome"

If your baby has a brownish-blue color, bring your baby to a hospital immediately. There is a medication (methylene blue) that will quickly return your baby's blood to normal.

Prevention of "blue baby syndrome"

The best way to prevent "blue baby syndrome" is to avoid giving your baby water that may be contaminated with nitrate. Infants under one year of age should not drink water exceeding the drinking water standard of 10 parts per million (ppm) of nitrate.

Boiling water will kill bacteria that are in well water, but it will not reduce the level of nitrate.

Nitrate in water will not have a long-lasting effect on your baby. If your baby does not have any of the symptoms of "blue baby syndrome" you do not need to bring your baby to the doctor.

Will breast-feeding give my infant "blue baby syndrome"?

Although nitrate has been found in breast milk, there are no confirmed reports of "blue baby syndrome" being caused by a nursing mother who consumed well water that contained nitrate.

Can nitrate affect adults?

Most older children and adults will not be affected because their red blood cells will be quickly converted back to normal. Some people have conditions that make them susceptible to having health problems from nitrate. This includes:

  • Individuals who don't have enough stomach acids.
  • Individuals with an inherited lack of the enzyme that converts affected red blood cells back to normal (methemoglobin reductase).

Some studies have found an increased risk of spontaneous abortion or certain birth defects if the mother drank water high in nitrate. Women who are pregnant or who are trying to become pregnant should not consume water that is high in nitrate.

How can I tell if my well water has nitrate?

Shallow wells, poorly sealed or constructed wells, and wells that draw from shallow aquifers are at the highest risk of having nitrate-contaminated water. The only way to know if your private well is contaminated with nitrate is to have it tested. Your county health department can give you information about where you can get your water tested. Nitrate tests usually cost $25 to $30 dollars. Nitrate levels can change over time so you should test your well yearly.

Manure and septic tank waste may also contain disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. It is a good idea to test your well for bacterial contamination (coliform bacteria test) when you test your well for nitrate.

Public water systems are tested routinely. Public water systems cannot have more than 10 parts per million (or milligrams per liter) of nitrate. Systems with this high a nitrate level are required to notify their customers.


We receive numerous requests for nitrate concerns.  Below you will read a timely article about nitrates, the negative health affects and source.  Additionally nitrates reek havoc with farm animals i.e. cows will not calve and milk reduction.  State legal MCL is 10 ppm.


RO by itself is not efficient for nitrates.  Your patented RODI process is! (refer to Report Card and lab tests).  Further, Aquathin deals with water treatment for farm animals and POE with the Aquathin SYN-N Synchromatic Series Water Conditioner loaded with a nitrate specific resin.


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