Nitrate is a nitrogen compound that occurs naturally in soil, water, plants, and food. It may be formed when microorganisms
in the environment break down organic materials, such as plants, animal manure, and sewage. Nitrate can also be found in chemical
fertilizers. Nitrate can get into drinking water from runoff of farms, golf courses and lawns, landfills, animal feedlots,
and septic systems.
High levels of nitrate in drinking water can lead to methemoglobinemia, a form of anemia, particularly in infants ("blue baby
syndrome") and pregnant women.
Nitrate in Private Wells, Percent of Tested Wells Exceeding MCL, January 2007 to December 2011, by County
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from New Jersey Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics,
State Health Assessment Data Web site: http://nj.gov/health/shad".