A source of concern for many consumers, we tell you more about nitrate in tap water. How do they get into tap water? What solutions filter your water at home?
Nitrates are forms of nitrogen that are found naturally in plants and animals. But today, human activity makes it difficult for nature to eliminate excessive inputs in its environment: agriculture and intensive breeding, chemical fertilizers, animal or human waste … The nitrate content can be so high that ‘it is found in large quantities in the water that we consume. However, there are solutions to filter the water from the network and remove nitrate from your tap water.
Nitrate is not inherently toxic. We are all exposed to small amounts of nitrates on a daily basis, especially through the foods we eat. It is the transformation into nitrites in the stomach that can have a negative impact on the health of the most fragile, such as infants.
The presence of nitrites in the blood can cause “methemoglobin” to form, a form of haemoglobin that cannot carry oxygen. As the digestive system of newborns is still fragile( also check mineral water plants), it cannot properly transform nitrates, just like perchlorate.
The consequences can be serious, red blood cells can no longer distribute oxygen properly in the body. In healthy adults, gastric acidity reduces the formation of nitrites.
How are nitrates found in water?
We owe the high presence of nitrates in drinking water to human activity, which is becoming more and more intensive, and in particular to agricultural activity.
This is the reason why the most agricultural regions of France such as Brittany, Champagne-Ardenne, Center, Poitou-Charente regularly exceed the authorized thresholds for tap water.
Officially, the quality of tap water should not display a nitrate concentration greater than 50 mg / L, a threshold set by the WHO. Very often in these regions, this threshold is reached temporarily. Consumption becomes dangerous at more than 100 mg / L, especially for pregnant women and infants.
Reverse osmosis to purify tap water
Conventional filtration systems such as the softener, the filter jug, the carbon filter are not sufficient to remove nitrates from tap water. Boiling the water does not remove the nitrate either, it concentrates it more.
A reverse osmosis system is the only system capable of removing nitrates from drinking water. It is one of the most effective solutions for water treatment. Other methods such as distillation, anion exchangers and special filters are possible, but reverse osmosis is the simplest and most accessible for the consumer.
Tap water passes through several filters and an extremely thin membrane before flowing into your sink. The finest particles and most of the pollutants and nitrate are therefore filtered.
How does a water reverse osmosis unit work?
It is the reverse osmosis triple filtration system that makes it so efficient. The water first passes through a particle filter which will retain all suspended matter larger than 5 microns.
The water then passes through an activated carbon filter whose function is to remove the chlorine present. The third filtration stage is then reverse osmosis, which retains the last elements like nitrate or other chemical residues and thus removes bad taste and bad odours.
Once the water runs out of the tap, you have filtered water that you can use for drinking, cooking, making ice cubes, or making tea or coffee.