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© 1996-2006, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide discusses practices recommended to manage nitrate-nitrogen in a domestic water supply. Nitrogen is essential for all living things as it is an essential component of protein. Nitrogen exists in the environment in many forms and changes forms as it moves through the nitrogen cycle. However, excessive concentrations of nitrate-nitrogen in drinking water can be hazardous to health, especially for infants and pregnant women. This publication encompasses sources of nitrate in drinking water, indications of nitrate, potential health effects, testing and interpreting test results, and options for treatment.