Nitrate in drinking water is a global issue, and it is a regulated contaminant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as the World Health Organization. Ion exchange technology is an effective solution to treat water systems and help municipalities, manufacturers and other industry professionals comply with regulations.
The use of nitrogen fertilizer such as ammonia or anhydrous ammonium nitrate is a common practice in the agricultural industry. Rainwater and crop irrigation dissolves the nitrogen compounds enabling them to permeate the ground and provide nutrients to crops. Unfortunately, the nitrogen compounds not absorbed by the plants eventually travel into water sources as runoff in the form of nitrates. The contamination then infiltrates water sources that feed community drinking systems. If not removed from the water supplies, nitrate can have detrimental effects on human health, and young infants are particularly susceptible.
In addition to the use of fertilizers in agriculture, high nitrate levels can be symptomatic of other contaminants in the water—both natural and man-made.
Ion exchange is a preferred choice for groundwater and municipal nitrate removal as waste volume can be significantly lower than other treatment technologies, such as Reverse Osmosis.
Water chemistry, system design and intended use for the final water are critical factors to consider when choosing resin for nitrate removal but nitrate selective Strong Base Anion (SBA) resin such as Purolite® A520E is highly effective for retraining nitrate ions.
Purolite's ion exchange resins for nitrate removal are particularly beneficial.