Are nitrates harmful? There’s an ongoing debate about it. Nitrates are found in nature in many different places. For example, plants make nitrates. Fertilizers also consist of nitrates. These substances also find use in the making of glass and explosives & curing meat.
While all this is fine, the real problem arises when nitrates make their way into the water.
Nitrates are contaminants and can cause adverse health problems especially in infants and pregnant women. They can fall seriously ill and die when left untreated.
In this article, let’s learn how to measure nitrates in water so that if the need arises, we know how to find out whether the water is potable.
How to Test Nitrates in Water?
Use a Home Testing Kit (strips)
The market has multiple easy-to-use water testing kits that you can buy. Remember, well water is more susceptible to nitrate pollution. So, if you use well water, you should buy kits specifically made for well water testing.
Each kit comes with a set of instructions that you should follow. Go through them, and you will find out if the water is safe to use.
Use a Digital Instrument
Digital meters are portable and highly reliable. They are known to give the most accurate measurements. However, you should note that digital water testing instruments are expensive. They are also quite delicate and need to be used very carefully.
Therefore, we suggest that you buy a digital instrument only if the need persists. Otherwise, a simple home testing kit with strips is good enough.
Buy a Color Disk Test
Color disks are easily available for a variety of different chemical tests, including nitrate and nitrite water tests. The kit comes with a reagent and matches the sample’s color to the color gradient. However, color disk tests are expensive. Plus, the entire process is complicated and tedious, which many people do not prefer. The good thing, though, is that they are accurate.
So, if you do not mind the cost and the additional time, color disk tests are a good option.
Whether it is for an experiment or if water potability is a real problem, the above-mentioned options will help you to a great extent. Home testing kit strips are the easiest to use while digital meters are usually the most reliable. Depending on your need and the type of water you are testing (well water or lake water), you may choose.
Any doubts or suggestions? We would love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment.