Background: Increased nitrate concentrations in ground water
The nitrate pollution of ground water generates considerable media attention.
The reasons are several excesses of the threshold value. According to a report of the EU commission from 2016, 28% of the measuring spots showed nitrate values higher than 50mg/l in the years from 2012 to 2015.
On the 21st of June 2018, the European Court of Justice convicted Germany on this.
In fact, the limits for drinking water are met; but not always for ground water.
As the latter is the main source for drinking water, more effort needs to be invested for drinking water production. In turn, this leads to higher water prices and therefore higher costs for the consumer. Studies of the German federal environment agency and the German federal association for energy and water management assume up to 45% or 65%, respectively.
In general, nitrate is harmless for people. However, nitrite – which is formed from nitrate in the human body – is dangerous to health. Besides circulatory disturbances or a drop in the oxygen supply, nitrite is classified as carcinogenic.
WTW instruments to measure nitrate and other parameters