Texoma Nitrate Levels Increasing

A recent environmental study from the AgriLife Research Center At Vernon shows Nitrate levels in Texoma ground water are increasing.

Dr. Srinivasulu Ale has been studying water data from across Texas dating back to the 1960's.  He said, "Nitrates are a major contaminant in ground water in most parts of the world. So, Nitrates have some implications on environment as well as health. This can cause blue baby syndrome in case of infants less than six months of age."

While the Nitrates can be harmful in untreated drinking water, they can also help farmers.

Paul DeLaune has been working on finding a way for farmers to utilize the high Nitrate concentration drinking water. He said, "You don't want to drink it because it's high and can have adverse health effects. On the other side of things it can be a positive for produces because it's a main input that they have to pay for and it's already there so they can utilize that."

When it comes to those same Nitrates getting into drinking water, fertilizer and farmers aren't all to blame.

Delaune said, "Commercial fertilizer didn't really start being utilized until the late 1950's and 1960's so there's data to indicate that there's already high nitrate in the groundwater pre dating the use of commercial fertilizers." 

The amount of data is impressive, but it's only the beginning. There's still more data that needs to be collected.

Dr. Sriroop Chaudhuri, a colleague of Dr. Ale, said, "If we carry out investigations in these counties we might find groundwater Nitrate concentrations really high."

Jack Lamson, Newschannel 6