Nitrate (NO3) is a compound that contains nitrogen and oxygen and is known as a salt. Nitrogen is released by decomposing material such as plants, human and animal wastes.
Nitrates are essential for plant growth as they facilitate the production of amino acids and proteins. Nitrate is highly water soluble and excess nitrate, not used by plants, can leach through soil into groundwater.
The Nitrate sensor is an Ion Selective Electrode (ISE). It measures charged nitrate ions found in the water.
Our Nitrate sensors come as standard on many of our probes, below are some examples.
To see all of the probes that feature nitrate please visit the Products section
The Aquasonde-2000 has 2 spare ports. They can house either 1x ISE sensor and 1x Optical sensor. Or it can house 2x ISE sensor.Read More
This is a solid state sensor in that it is not gel filled, the advantage of this kind of sensor over those offered by other manufacturers is that the sensor will not deteriorate over time so long as its dry. A new dry sensor can be stored for years without degradation. Gel filled sensors are different and have a finite life from the point of manufacture.
Successful calibration of an ISE is fairly complex. On its initial use, a three-point calibration is required. Generally, this is at 10ppm and 100ppm of the sensor’s specific calibration solution, with the third point intended to characterise the effect of temperature on that specific sensor. The third point is a second calibration at 10ppm however, this calibration point must be at least 10 degrees colder than the initial point. This is because the measured concentration varies with temperature as well as the actual concentration of the ion.
The good news is that once this calibration is complete, subsequent calibrations do not require the third point to be re-done making future calibrations much simpler to perform.
An ideal ISE sensor would only allow the ion in question to be passed through the membrane. However, in practise all ion selective electrodes suffer from interference from ions which are similar in nature to the target ion. For this reason, ISE Electrodes are not recommended for use in brackish or salt water due to the high level of interfering ions.
Installing the nitrate sensor into an Aquaprobe is a very simple process. Simply unscrew the blanking plug from an appropriate aux socket, apply some silicon grease to the thread of the sensor (grease provided) and screw in the sensor. After installation full calibration is required.
Other sources of nitrate in water include fertiliser, human and animal waste and industrial discharges. Nitrate is a water pollutant and affects plant growth. It can also affect existing plants and animals, as well as the use of the water.
Excess nitrate in water is a cause of eutrophication, which is when excessive nutrients get into water bodies, causing excessive plant growth. This large amount of plant growth effectively steals oxygen from the water, causing fish and other aquatic life to die. This is why a nitrate test in water is crucial.
To use Aquaread’s nitrate sensor, first install it into your probe of choice, then perform a full calibration using dilutions from the stock calibration solution. Once calibrated it’s good to go. Simply put the probe into the body of water, allow the reading to stabilise and take your measurement.
A nitrate meter is used to measure the concentration of nitrate in water. Nitrate is found naturally in water and is not harmful at low levels. At high levels, however, nitrate is harmful to aquatic ecosystems and, if found in potable water, can also be harmful to human health.
Nitrate testing equipment can be used for measuring nitrate in water, ascertaining the natural level and identifying if there is a pollutant entering the water. Once a pollutant is identified, the source can be determined and thus prevent further damage and, hopefully, recurrence.
Aquaread’s nitrate testing equipment is primarily designed for use in the field. We have portable products designed for short term spot testing, as well as devices designed to be deployed in the long term.
Our nitrate monitor is ideal for commercial and industrial uses, such as monitoring water discharged from factories and wastewater that is to be released into a river having been treated. Aquaread’s nitrate meters are also used for environmental monitoring purposes.