Does a Water Softener Remove Nitrates from Water?

Do water softeners remove nitrates from water? This question has plagued me since I was a kid. My parents always told us not to drink tap water because it had “nitrate” in it. But how do you tell if a water softener removes nitrates from water?

There are two types of water softeners: ion exchange and reverse osmosis. Ion exchange softeners work by exchanging ions with the salt in the water. Reverse osmosis filters remove contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and even chlorine.

But does a water softener remove nitrates from the water, and if so, how? In this article, we’ll answer these questions.

Does a Water Softener Remove Nitrates from Water

What are Nitrates in Water?

Nitrates are natural compounds that occur naturally and synthetically in nature. Nitrates come from the breakdown of organic material, including manure, decaying vegetable matter, and sewage sludge, among others.

People can become ill from consuming too many nitrates. Too many nitrates in drinking water may lead to serious health issues.

Nitrates are common contaminants in tap water. People should avoid eating food grown near polluted sources of nitrogen.


How Do Nitrates Get into Drinking Water?

Nitrates are naturally occurring elements found in soil and groundwater. However, excessive levels of nitrates can lead to harmful algal blooms. These blooms produce toxic substances called microcystins which can harm human health and kill fish.

Nitrates can enter drinking water supplies via several pathways.

Nitrates are readily soluble in water and are therefore commonly found in surface waters, groundwater, and drinking water.

Rainfall carries nitrates into streams and rivers where they accumulate in high concentration. Soil erosion and flooding can cause nitrates to leach into rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers. Nitrites are another form of nitrogen that occurs naturally and synthetically in the environment.

  • Nitrates can leach out of soils and contaminate groundwater.
  • Nitrates can enter drinking water from animal wastes.
  • Nitrates can enter water supplies from fertilizers applied to crops.
  • Nitrates can enter surface water bodies from runoff from urban storm sewers.
  • Nitrates can enter groundwater from septic systems.
  • Nitrates can enter wells from irrigation.
  • Nitrates can enter aquifers from atmospheric deposition.

If you want to minimize nitrate pollution, you need to use a water softener and avoid spreading manure and fertilizer on land draining directly into streams and rivers.


Are Nitrates in Drinking Water Harmful?

Nitrates are a major problem because they’re extremely harmful to pregnant women, newborns, and elderly people. A study conducted at the University of California found that babies born to mothers exposed to high levels of nitrates had lower IQ scores compared to those whose mothers were not exposed to nitrates.

Another study showed that children who consumed large amounts of nitrates had significantly lower bone density than children who did not consume nitrates.

So if you’re concerned about the nitrates in your drinking water, talk to a doctor about getting a water filtration system installed in your house. There are several types of filters that remove nitrates from your drinking supply.


How Do You Test for Nitrates in Water?

If you want to know whether your water has nitrates, then you’ll want to do a water test. A water test kit is available at most hardware stores. These kits come with a variety of vials that you can use to collect multiple samples of your water. After collecting your samples, you can send them off to a lab for analysis.

Once the lab receives your samples, they will analyze them thoroughly and return the results. The report will include a list of the nitrate levels found in your water, as well as recommendations for how to keep it clean and healthy.

To conduct a water test, simply take several samples from your water supply and store them separately in separate sealed containers. Once the labs receive your samples, they will test them thoroughly and return the findings to you. The report may include recommendations for how to keep the water clean and healthy.


Do Water Filters Stop Nitrates?

If you want to know whether your water has nitrates, then you’ll want to do a water test. A water test kit is available at most hardware stores. These kits come with a variety of vials that you can use to collect multiple samples of your water. After collecting your samples, you can send them off to a lab for analysis.

Once the lab receives your samples, they will analyze them thoroughly and return the results. The report will include a list of the nitrate levels found in your water, as well as recommendations for how to keep it clean and healthy.

To conduct a water test, simply take several samples from your water supply and store them separately in separate sealed containers. Once the labs receive your samples, they will test them thoroughly and return the findings to you. The report may include recommendations for how to keep the water clean and healthy.

Does a Water Softener Remove Nitrates?

A water softener uses a brine solution to replace the calcium and magnesium ions in the water with sodium ions. As a result, the water becomes softer. But does a water softener really remove nitrates?

Yes, a water softener does remove nitrates. Nitrates are removed by exchanging the calcium and magnesium ions for sodium ions. However, if you don’t know how to properly maintain a water softener, you might end up removing more nitrates than you should.

Nitrates are naturally occurring elements found in groundwater. These elements are usually harmless, but sometimes they become harmful when they enter our bodies. That’s why we need to keep nitrates out of our drinking water.

To do this, we use a water softener. A water softener works by replacing calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. This makes the water softer.

But there’s a problem with using a water softener. You need to change the brine solution every now and again. Otherwise, the sodium ions won’t be able to replace the calcium and manganese ions. And without those ions, the water isn’t softened anymore.

So, if you don’t change the brine solution regularly, you might end up taking away more nitrates than you need to.

If you’re worried about nitrates in your tap water, talk to your local plumber. He or she can tell you whether a water softener is right for you.


FAQs

Is There a Safe Level of Nitrates?

Drinking tap or bottled waters with nitrates below 10 mg/L is considered safe for everyone. Tap or bottled waters with nitrate levels above 10 mg/L may be unsafe for children under 6 years old and pregnant women.

How Can I Find out If There are Nitrates in My Water?

Because nitrites are tasteless, colorĀ­less, and odorless, the only way to determine whether the concentration of nitrites in your water is above its maximum contaminant limit is by testing your water for them. Your local water treatment professional could provide such a test.

How Do I Prevent Nitrates From Entering My Water Supply?

Ion Exchange Units (IEX) Reverse Osmosis (ROS) or Distillation (DIST) all reduce nitrate levels in your tap water. Note that heating does not work and is not an alternative. Ion exchange units work like a home salt filtration system. ROS removes dissolved solutes such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. DIST reduces nitrate levels in your spring water.


Conclusion

A water softener removes nitrate ions from tap water. This means that when you add a water softener to your home, you won’t need to worry about adding chemicals to your drinking water.

However, you still need to check your water regularly to ensure that it meets federal standards. In addition, you should always consult your doctor before using a water softener.

Joanna G. Lackey

Hi, I'm Joanna, a writer freelance writer who specializes in topics about health and nutrition. I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and three children. I'm a mom to two dogs and a cat. I love reading, writing, and taking photos.