Section 26
Chapter 25,359

Reduction of high nitrate content from well water in a remote Eskimo village

Benson, B.E.

J Environ Health 30(2): 164-170


Accession: 025358389

The well water in the village of Mekoryuk is very high in nitrate 266 mg/1 in the village well and 75 mg/1 in the school well. This nitrate concentration can cause methemoglobinemia in the infants under 2 months of age if ingested. Due to village conditions and the economic situation, it is not practical to treat the entire village water supply, but only that portion used by nursing mothers and infants. By passing the water through small demineralizers made for use with steam irons, the nitrate concentration can be reduced to safe levels. The change in color of the resin from purple to yellow eliminates the need for chemical tests on the effluent to determine when the demineralizer is exhausted.

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