How is water contaminated with nitrates?

Nitrates are inorganic chemical compounds that occur naturally in the environment. In fact, nitrogen is a vital nutrient that helps plants and crops grow by producing plant tissue and chlorophyll for photosynthesis among other functions.

However, these natural cycles are affected by certain human activities (such as the use of fertilisers or manures) which lead to excess nitrogen that cannot be absorbed naturally.

Nitrates are toxic substances that in high concentrations pose a risk to human health and can cause various types of cancer. They also seriously affect babies due to the formation of methaemoglobin in the blood (blue baby syndrome).

Excess nitrates also have serious impacts on ecosystem stability and species survival. The abusive use of nitrates from livestock manure and fertilisers is a major source of pollution. They affect surface, ground and coastal waters.

This phenomenon generates an excess of nutrients that exceeds the natural self-purification capacity of ecosystems and leads to eutrophication processes. There is a quick uncontrolled proliferation of algae and plants that cover the surface of the water.

This prevents light from penetrating to the bottom of the ecosystem and therefore vegetation cannot photosynthesise and dies. A large amount of sedimentable solids and dead plant debris is generated, causing the water to become cloudy. Likewise, microorganisms such as bacteria appear and feed on this dead matter.

All this depletes the available water body of oxygen (anoxia).This causes a major natural disaster that leads to the death of thousands of aquatic species and organisms.

A clear and real example of this situation can be found in the Mar Menor in Murcia, a unique natural enclave of great ecological and scenic value. However, it currently reflects an increasingly worrying climatic reality that threatens the survival of the lagoon’s biodiversity. Urgent action is required to put an end to this permanent environmental crisis.

Nitrate pollution is a growing problem worldwide and there are increasingly stringent measures that countries must adopt to reduce water pollution.

INGEOBRAS is ready to respond to this challenge by using a leading proprietary technology in biological denitrification. Puremust-sn ® is a safe and sustainable technology certified by SGS to remove up to 1400 mg/l of nitrates in drinking water or osmosis rejects, four times more than ever before.

Unlike reverse osmosis, this innovative biological removal technology can completely remove the contaminant and transform nitrates into harmless nitrogen gas. It is a highly competitive solution, whose effectiveness has been tested and proven over the years.