Removing Nitrates from My Well Water

 Min read
July 11, 2022

We’ve consistently covered how important it is to keep your water clean for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, there are a number of compounds and elements out there that could be concerning if they end up in your water from both a maintenance and health standpoint. Among the concerning compounds that could end up in your well water are nitrates, which could cause problems if left untreated.

According to the CDC, nitrate is a compound that forms naturally when nitrogen combines with oxygen or ozone. Nitrogen is actually essential for all living things. High levels of nitrate though, in drinking water, can be dangerous to human health.

A publication from points to some health effects that can arise if the nitrate level is too high in your drinking water. High levels of nitrates can cause birth defects. Nitrates may also increase the risk for certain kinds of cancer, which can certainly affect everyone. It’s also possible the nitrates could cause thyroid disease among other things.

There are several ways that nitrates can end up in your well water. lists a few of them including rain or irrigation water, which can carry nitrates into groundwater from sources such as fertilizer, animal waste or human sewage. Runoff from feedlots or barnyards often results in high levels of nitrates in groundwater. Wells may be even more vulnerable to this kind of contamination after flooding, especially if the well is shallow, has been dug, or has been submerged by flood water for a lengthy period of time.

If there are nitrates present in your well water, they can be removed using a reverse-osmosis system. According to, reverse-osmosis is a process which uses a membrane under pressure to separate relatively pure water from a less pure solution. Several steps are involved in this process.

There are typically a total of four stages in a reverse-osmosis system:

  • The first stage is a sediment pre-filter and this is the stage where Rusco comes in. We’ll come back to this momentarily.
  • The second stage in reverse-osmosis involves the implementation of a carbon pre-filter. One of the newer additions to Rusco’s product line is an activated carbon filter. This part of the process is designed to remove a variety of contaminants.
  • In the third stage, a reverse-osmosis membrane comes in. This is a thin film composite membrane that removes almost all total dissolved solids down to some of the tiniest micron sizes. These are mainly designed for use in water purification.
  • The final stage involves implementing a post carbon filter. This gets placed after the storage tank and just before the water is actually used. This filter will remove any contaminants that were missed by the prior filters or the membrane.

When it comes to putting a reverse-osmosis system together, you’ll want to make sure that all four of the stages are addressed. If this system is implemented correctly with all of the above elements, a variety of contaminants, including nitrates, will be removed from your well water. In the end, the system will be removing a lot of things that will improve your water quality and ultimately protect you and your family’s health. Rusco can actually help you get the most out of your reverse-osmosis system, specifically the prefiltration aspects of it. As far as a sediment pre-filter goes, Rusco offers several options in order to help you get the most out of reverse-osmosis.

Rusco's Line of Filter Cartridges and Elements

A spin-down filter, which has been offering great results for years now, is one of the possibilities. It’s designed to remove a variety of sediment and is available in a number of different mesh sizes. Coarse options, including 24 and 30 mesh, are available as well as finer options, such as 500 and 1,000 mesh.

New to the Rusco product line are a couple of other sediment pre-filters that you may want to consider implementing into a reverse-osmosis system. A melt blown filter is one of the newest options, and along with being designed to remove sediment like the original spin-down, will also take dirt and rust out of water. A pleated filter is also new to Rusco. This type of filter has an increased surface area as well as a longer life span. Similar to the regular spin-down elements, the cartridges with the pleated filter are reusable. Activated carbon filters are also now available through Rusco and can be implemented into your reverse osmosis system.If you’re looking to get the most out of reverse-osmosis, give Rusco a call at 1-800-345-1033. A live customer service representative will be available to help you figure out the best parts to implement into your system.Source Notes: All information in this article relating to how nitrates are formed and how they end up in water came from the CDC and Information regarding how nitrates are harmful to human health came from Information relating to what a reverse-osmosis system is came from