By LYNN GALLICE
Mille Lacs SWCD
Drop your water sample off at the SWCD booth at the Milaca Expo on March 9th from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Expo will take place at the Milaca High School. Samples will be run during the Clinic. You can be there to watch the sample analysis and receive the results immediately or we will mail the results to you following the event. (Everything is confidential.)
What is Nitrate?
Nitrate (NO3-N) is a naturally occurring chemical made of nitrogen and oxygen. Nitrate is found in air, soil, water, and plants. Much of the nitrate in our environment comes from decomposition of plants and animal wastes. Most lawns and agricultural crops such as corn are commonly fertilized with nitrogen fertilizers.
Why Should I Test My Water for Nitrate?
Nitrate is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. The only way to determine if there is nitrate in your water is to have your water tested specifically for nitrate. Monitoring studies across the state, particularly on the outwash sands, indicate that 5 to 25 percent of our drinking wells contain nitrate- nitrogen levels above the health advisory limit.
Elevated levels of nitrate in drinking water can cause Blue Baby Syndrome in infants. If the NO3-N concentration of your water exceeds the health limit of 10 Parts Per Million (PPM), do not feed to infants under six months. Boiling your water will not remove nitrate (boiling the water actually concentrates the nitrates).
What Happens if I Find Nitrate in My Water? If you find that the NO3-N level in your water is less than 10 ppm; the nitrate level is acceptable and you should continue to monitor nitrate levels periodically.
For the full story, see the Thursday, March 7 print edition of the Times.