What is Nitrates?
May of one nitrogen and three oxygen atoms, nitrates are commonly used as fertilizer for plants and are the final breakdown product of organic matter in the nitrogen cycle.
If found even at moderate levels, it is generally recommended to test your water for fecal contamination as animal and human waste are common sources of contamination.
High levels in drinking water are not desirable as they affect the oxygen carrying capacity of blood.
The NZ drinking water standards set out a maximum allowable value of 50mg/L, when measured as Nitrate NO3 (When measured as nitrate -N max allowable value is 11.3mg/L).