The risk of source water contamination is becoming increasingly prevalent!
Nitrate contamination comes from a variety of sources including septic tank leakage, agricultural fertilizer run-off, turf grass fertilizers and manure holding pond run-off and/or leakage.
The primary health hazard from drinking water with nitrate-nitrogen occurs when nitrate is transformed to nitrite in the digestive system. The nitrite oxidizes the iron in the hemoglobin of the red blood cells to form methemoglobin, which lacks the oxygen-carrying ability of hemoglobin. This creates the condition known as methemoglobinemia (sometimes referred to as "blue baby syndrome"), in which blood lacks the ability to carry sufficient oxygen to the individual body cells causing the veins and skin to appear blue. Note - The health concern is primarily related to potential exposure through consumptions by infants.
People living near or down-stream from farms are at risk.