Nitrate (NO3) comes into water supplies through the nitrogen cycle rather than via dissolved minerals. It is one of the major ions in natural waters. Most nitrate that occurs in drinking water is the result of contamination of ground water supplies by septic systems, feed lots, and agricultural fertilizers. Natural bacteria in soil can convert nitrogen into nitrate. 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.Nitrate is reduced to nitrite in the body. Nitrate in drinking water supplies may reduce the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood (cyanosis) if ingested in sufficient amounts by infants under 6 months of age. This could cause a disease called methemoglobinemia, or “blue baby” syndrome. The EPA has established a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for nitrate at 10 mg/1 (PPM), measured as N. Unlike coliform or other types of bacteria, boiling the water will actually INCREASE the amount of nitrate remaining in the water, increasing the danger to infants. If you have high levels of nitrate in your water, treat the water with a specialty Crystal Quest® Nitrate Water Filter system or find another water source; boiling will only make it worse!