Some folks believe that water coming from the ground naturally ranks as the cleanest, purest water possible — because they don’t KNOW any better. Depending upon where a person lives, sometimes the water coming out of the ground contains dangerously high levels of contaminants that could seriously affect a person’s health if not removed from the water prior to consumption.
Where do the contaminants come from? Some occur naturally in Nature and others, such as nitrates, occur in Nature, yes, but can also come from man-made chemical products such as fertilizer.
Park Rapids, Minn. — The water supply in the city of Park Rapids is contaminated with nitrates, and many suspect the source is the fertilizer used on local farm fields.
Park Rapids has had elevated nitrate levels in its water for years. But last April was the first time a city well exceeded 10 parts per million, the threshold for what’s considered safe. The well was shut down.
City administrator Bill Smith says residents aren’t panicking, they are concerned. Nitrate contamination can cause health problems. It’s especially dangerous for infants, who can get something called blue baby syndrome — when nitrates inhibit a baby’s ability to use oxygen.
Smith says some blame local farmers who put tons of nitrogen-based fertilizer on their fields. That includes the R.D. Offutt Company, or RDO — the largest potato grower in the U.S., and the community’s largest employer. ( source )
As in most other situations involving drinking water quality testing, nothing takes the place of water test performed by a certified drinking water testing laboratory. That does NOT mean, however, a person cannot perform spot checks on their own water for potentially harmful contaminants such as nitrates between certified water tests using at-home drinking water test kits.
At-Home Drinking Water Test Kits Capable of Testing for Nitrates:
- WaterWorks Nitrate-Nitrite Test Strips
- Drinking Water Quality Test Kit
- WaterSafe Well Water Test Kit
- COMPLETE Water Test Kit
- Well Drillers Standard Test Kit
- Well Drillers Master Test Kit