Attention Lower Valley Growers! Free Deep Soil Sampling Available
Click here or call 509-829-9025 for details

Upcoming Groundwater Advisory Committee Meetings:

  • October 15, 2015 5:00 PM
    Location: Radio KDNA,121 Sunnyside Ave, Granger, WA 98932


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What is nitrate?

Nitrate is a chemical found in fertilizers, manure and septic tank liquids. Rain or irrigation water can carry nitrate down through the soil into groundwater. Your drinking water may contain nitrate if your well draws from this groundwater.


Who is considered a high public health risk from nitrate?

Children less than 12 months of age, pregnant women, or individuals susceptible to health problems from nitrate (as documented by their healthcare provider).


Why are pregnant women, infants and others at high public risk?

Nitrate is a potential human health threat especially to infants, causing the condition known as methemoglobinemia, also called "blue baby syndrome." Nitrate is taken in by eating food and drinking water. Nitrate is converted in the gut to nitrite, which then combines with hemoglobin to form methemoglobin, thus decreasing the ability of the blood to carry oxygen.  Infants are more susceptible to nitrate toxicity than older children or adults. Fatalities are rare, but sub-acute methemoglobinemia can be limiting or asymptotic to an infant’s development, making the condition particularly harmful and permanently debilitating. Chronic consumption of high levels of nitrate may also cause other health problems for those who have low resistance to infection.


For more information about nitrate, please read the Washington State Department Of Nitrate in Drinking Water Publication