Nitrate Analysers

nitrate analyser

What is Nitrate?

Nitrate is an inorganic compound composed of one nitrogen atom (N) and three oxygen atoms (O), chemically represented as NO3-. It is a polyatomic ion with a charge of -1. Nitrates are naturally occurring substances that are part of the nitrogen cycle, and they play a crucial role in the environment and agriculture as a primary nutrient for plant growth. However, excessive amounts of nitrates in water sources can lead to pollution and pose health risks to humans and aquatic life. Nitrates are commonly found in fertilisers, and their presence in groundwater and surface water is often due to agricultural runoff, industrial discharge, and improper waste disposal. High concentrations of nitrates in drinking water can lead to conditions such as methemoglobinemia, particularly in infants, and are associated with other health issues.


Monitoring Nitrate in Potable Water

Monitoring nitrate levels in potable water is a critical public health measure, aimed at preventing the adverse health effects associated with high nitrate consumption. Nitrate, a compound found naturally in the environment and significantly influenced by agricultural activities, can seep into water sources, raising concentrations to levels that may pose health risks. Public water systems are mandated to regularly test for nitrate to ensure that levels remain below the established drinking water standard of 10 mg/L, as excessive nitrate intake, particularly in infants, can lead to conditions such as methemoglobinemia, or “blue baby syndrome,” where oxygen transport in the blood is impaired.

To detect nitrates, various methods are employed, including the cadmium reduction method, the use of a nitrate electrode, and measuring the penetration of ultraviolet (UV) light through a solution. These techniques enable accurate assessment of nitrate levels, facilitating timely interventions to mitigate potential health risks. Overall, the diligent monitoring of nitrate in drinking water underscores the commitment to protecting public health from the hazards of waterborne contaminants.


Swan Analytical Online Nitrate Analyser