Nitrates

What is it?

Represents Nitrogen in a specific form after Nitrites have been exposed to Nitrifying bacteria. Nitrates (NO3) are an important source of nitrogen for plants.

Why is it important?

Excess levels of nitrates in water can make it difficult for aquatic insects or fish to survive. Algae and other plants use nitrates as a food source. If we do not manage the levels, algae growth can go unchecked and change the dissolved oxygen of the water. This directly impacts aquatic life.

What does it mean?

  • Natural levels of nitrates are usually less than 1 mg/L
  • Concentrations over 10 mg/L will have an effect on the freshwater aquatic environment
  • 10 mg/L is also the maximum concentration allowed in human drinking water
  • For a sensitive fish the recommended concentration is 0.06 mg/L
  • High levels could be caused by agriculture run-off

Water Rangers Protocol

We do not currently include a test for this in our kit, since none we’ve tried read very low levels. If you know a test that is accurate, affordable and easy-to-use, let us know!

Contributing to the community!

Water Rangers is citizen-scientist led. So, if you have any questions, ideas, or notice any errors related to conductivity, please tell us!