Stand Alone Rainwater Harvesting System
No nitrates here, can't say same for tap
Posted on February 10th, 2010

One of our more interesting test results came from the test for Nitrates. In our three way run off between RainSaucers water, roof run off, and tap water (see previous post) both rain sources were nitrates free. The tap water however registered 5 parts per million (5 milligrams per liter). 10 parts per million is considered the threshold for safety by most standards. So the tap water passed the test but made our rain water look healthier by comparison.

Nitrates in the water is mainly the result of contamination from fertilizer and decaying plant material. The WHO says we eat 20-70 milligrams per day just from the vegetables we eat so it is considered to be unavoidable. But when daily drinking water adds to the exposure health problems can arise. Infants who are fed water or formula made with water that is high in nitrate can develop a condition that doctors call methemoglobinemia- also called "blue baby syndrome" because the skin appears blue-gray or lavender in color. This color change is caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood which can lead to coma and death if not treated promptly.


Posted in Prototype    Tagged with Testing

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