Keywords: Nitrate in water, Occurrence of nitrate, Removal of nitrate, Protection zones, Nitrate sensitive areas, Agriculture, Best practice.
1. The Maximum Admissible Concentration (MAC) of Nitrate in Drinking Water is 50mg/l.
2. A significant number of water sources which are needed for drinking water supply are above the MAC.
3. Changes in agricultural practices in the last 20 years have reduced the nitrate entering waters, but concentrations can still be well above the MAC.
4. Nitrate Sensitive Areas (NSAs) are the Water Industry’s preferred option for nitrate control but it is too early yet to say how well they are working.
5. NSAs will take several years or decades to be fully effective and in the interim Water Suppliers must use other control measures.
6. Several such measures have been and are being applied. All are expensive and have contributed significantly to the ongoing increases in water services charges
B T Croll, Anglian Water Services Ltd., Histon, Cambridge, UK.
24 pages, 14 figures, 1 table, 12 refs.