Nitrate Contamination in Rural Groundwater: The Persistent Challenge in Mid Canterbury

For many decades, Mid Canterbury has grappled with elevated nitrate levels in groundwater, a concern that has recently escalated.

Notably, shallow wells beneath affected by meat processing plants have seen nitrate levels exceed 20ppm in affected areas.

The historical footprint of four meat processing plants near Ashburton has left a documented legacy of heightened nitrate in groundwater. In a poignant incident from 1994, nitrate resulted in hospitalisation for two children, with recorded levels surpassing 20ppm. Similar scenarios have unfolded near other local meat processing plants, impacting water quality adversely. 

The advent of intensive dairying in Canterbury and beyond has further compounded the issue, amplifying the number of affected wells across a broader expanse, leading to widespread nitrate elevation.

Nitrate, being colourless, odourless, and tasteless, evades detection without water analysis, necessitating vigilance. A troubling nexus exists between nitrate, bacteria, and other agricultural chemicals, all of which can infiltrate underground aquifers.

Heightened awareness of the health hazards linked to nitrate exposure, notably its conversion into carcinogenic compounds post-ingestion, underscores the urgency for action. Instances of the negative effects of nitrate, especially among vulnerable demographics like premature and expectant mothers, are on the rise.

A landmark 2018 Danish study unveiled the correlation between nitrate levels in drinking water and a heightened incidence of colorectal (CRC) or bowel cancers, even at minute concentrations. Spanning 33 years and involving 2.7 million adults, the study reported a statistically significant increase in cancer rates with nitrate levels as low as 3.8ppm.

In New Zealand, with one of the globe’s highest colorectal cancer rates, the Maximum Acceptable Value (MAV) for nitrate in drinking water still stands at 11.3ppm.

To tackle nitrate contamination and uphold water safety standards, point-of-use (POU) water treatment solutions like Reverse Osmosis (RO) are championed. RO technology, endorsed by bodies like the American NSF International, boasts efficacy in reducing nitrate levels and curbing contaminant spread, thereby ensuring safe water for miriad household uses.

Certified RO systems deliver substantial nitrate reductions, aligning with stringent safety benchmarks. Growing recognition among healthcare professionals of studies like the Danish report signals the imperative to revisit prevailing nitrate standards in New Zealand’s drinking water regulations.

By fostering awareness, embracing preventive strategies, and adopting robust treatment protocols, we can confront the pressing challenge of nitrate contamination in rural groundwater, fostering public health and resilience for generations to come.

Discover Your Solution for Nitrate-Free Water with Sue Kelly Water Systems

Are you searching for a dependable nitrate water filter and removal solution? Look no further than Sue Kelly Nitrate treatment systems. Our innovative solutions are designed to effectively reduce nitrates from water, ensuring you and your family enjoy safe and clean drinking water.

Here’s what you need to know about us:

  • Established Expertise: With over three decades of experience in water treatment, Sue Kelly Water Systems Ltd has been a trusted name in and around Ashburton, and Christchurch and Mid, South and North Canterbury – which are the predominant dairying areas in the South Island. Our expertise ensures that you receive high-quality solutions tailored to your specific needs.
  • Rising Nitrate Levels: The levels of nitrates in groundwater are on the rise, posing a significant concern for public health and environmental sustainability. Our solutions are designed to address this growing problem effectively.
  • Hidden Health Risks: Nitrate and nitrite in water are invisible to the naked eye, leaving many people unaware of their presence and the potential health risks associated with them. Our systems provide peace of mind by effectively reducing these harmful chemicals.
  • Simple Testing Solutions: Concerned about nitrate levels in your water? We offer simple and inexpensive testing options for water samples, allowing you to assess the quality of your drinking water with ease.
  • Effective Filtration: Unlike most water filters that do not effectively remove nitrates, our under-bench Reverse Osmosis water purifiers are equipped with the latest technology to dramatically reduce nitrate levels, ensuring the safety of your domestic water supply.
  • Comprehensive Protection: Our systems boast an impressive rejection rate of approximately 80% for nitrates, along with other agricultural chemicals commonly found in groundwater.
  • Compliance with Standards: Rest assured that our solutions meet the highest standards for drinking water quality in New Zealand, providing you with peace of mind regarding the safety and purity of your water supply.

At Sue Kelly Water Systems, we are committed to delivering reliable, effective, and innovative solutions for nitrate removal, ensuring that you and your loved ones have access to clean and safe drinking water. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.

Watch the Breakfast interview – NZ water nitrate levels not meeting basic human rights – Greenpeace

Watch the Breakfast interview – Soaring nitrate levels in water ‘absolutely devastating’ – Canterbury resident

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EDITORIAL: We cannot yet stand convinced that nitrates in our water have a connection to New Zealand’s high bowel cancer rate. But we should be unnerved by a study that finds it may be so. Sufficiently unnerved to seek plausible assurances that a real sense of urgency...

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Sue Kelly provides effective solutions for nitrate reduction in drinking water. With their range of products and services, they aim to help families achieve nitrate safe water. Utilizing advanced technologies such as reverse osmosis and ion exchange, their solutions effectively remove nitrates from drinking water and provide clean, safe water for you and your family.

Nitrates in drinking water can pose a serious threat to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Sue Kelly understands the importance of nitrate safe water and is committed to providing families with solutions for nitrate reduction.

The company offers a range of nitrate reduction solutions that are designed to be easy to use and maintain. Whether you’re looking for better-tasting water or need to remove other contaminants from your water supply, Sue Kelly can help you achieve nitrate safe water.

If you’re concerned about nitrates in your drinking water, consider Sue Kelly for your nitrate reduction needs. With their advanced technology and commitment to customer satisfaction, you can trust that you’re getting the best products and services for your needs. Book a free initial consultation today to learn more about how Sue Kelly can help you achieve nitrate safe water for you and your family.