- In unpolluted, oxygenated surface waters, oxidized nitrogen is normally in the form of nitrate, with only trace amounts of nitrite.
- Measurable nitrite concentrations are more common in groundwater because of low oxygen concentrations in the soil’s subsurface.
- Nitrate and nitrite both leach readily from soils to surface waters and groundwater.
- High concentrations (>1-2 mg/L) of nitrate or nitrite in surface waters or groundwater generally indicate agricultural contamination from fertilizers and manure seepage.
- Greater than 10 mg/L of total nitrite and nitrate in drinking water is considered a human health hazard.
Eugene R. Weiner. Application of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry. A Practical Guide. Third edition. CRC Press