Continuous Monitoring of Nitrates and Other Water Quality Parameters - Environmental - Environmental Monitoring

Nitrate is one of the most important parameters in assessing surface and ground water quality. Nitrates are naturally present in surface and ground waters in low concentrations, but are harmful to humans and livestock and cause aquatic ecosystem degradation in high concentrations. Nitrates enter the environment as human-induced pollution from a variety of sources, but the largest source is from agricultural fertilizer runoff . Other sources include wastewater treatment discharge, septic systems, and from pet waste. Nitrate is highly soluble in water and therefore readily leaches into water sources, whereas other human associated pollutants, such as phosphates and ammonia, are not transported as easily. This ability to be quickly transported into ground and natural waters such as drinking water wells, aquifers, reservoirs, lakes, and streams, coupled with its health and environmental implications make nitrate pollution and monitoring of major concern.