Nitrates in Water Treatment

Nitrates are inorganic compounds found in some surface and ground waters. Nitrates originate from both natural and man-made sources, particularly from decomposition of waste and fertilizer residues that enter water supplies either directly through run-off or by percolation through the soil. Nitrate removal is accomplished through anion exchange, using Tonka Water’s Pur-IX™ or our fixed bed  conventional ion exchange systems. Sometimes nanofiltration (NF) is used, employing low pressure spiral wound membranes, especially if concurrent softening is desired.

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Tonka Water Nitrate Removal Technologies

Tonka Water offers pilot testing to optimize an existing plant or to assist in the design of a new plant.  


Nitrate in drinking water has become a significant problem. High nitrate levels can cause cyanosis or methaemoglobinaemia (blue-baby syndrome) in infants and children. The ion exchange process is often used to remove nitrates. In this process the water is passed through an ion exchange resin which removes the unwanted ions and replaces them with ions that have little effect on the water quality. This technology for nitrate removal is similar to traditionalfrom water softening systems, which were used to remove the hardness-conferring ions Ca2+ and Mg2+.

In response to the growing need for nitrate treatment, Tonka Water developed a range of treatment systems to best meet varying customer needs.  


The Tonka Water Pur-IX™ system, with its revolutionary multi-port valve provides the most cost-effective system available for nitrate removal. The Pur-IX™ system features the lowest brine consumption in the industry using its unique continuous ion exchange technology. Continuously regenerated without affecting treated water production, it operates up to 3,500 GPM on a single multi-port valve, features virtually no maintenance, and seamlessly operates without interruption for regeneration.

Pur-IX Ion Exchange System


Tonka Water’s RidION™ Ion Exchange systems use ion exchange resins that are specifically selected for the application. Typically, for nitrate removal, we use strong base anion exchange resins or nitrate-specific ones depending on water quality. Effluent quality is guaranteed through a conventional proven process that meets all applicable state and federal requirements. Our systems include Tonka Water’s proprietary underdrain designs and regenerant delivery systems as well as integral control responsibility.

Flux RO/NFMembrane Treatment

Membrane systems remove nitrates, sulfates and related hardness-causing compounds by use of banked arrays of cross flow pressure membranes. Typically a portion of the feed water is bypassed so that water stability and exact hardness of the effluent is achieved. Tonka Water’s experience in membrane technology runs deep and our systems include comprehensive controls, assembled membrane filtration skids, instrumentation, clean-in-place sub-systems and the know-how to continuously provide a stable, compliant water.

Flux NF/RO Membrane System
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City of Hastings

Hastings, MN
Set along the rugged and colorful panorama of the Mississippi, St. Croix and Vermillion Rivers, Hastings, Minnesota is a scenic river town steeped in tradition.
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Pontiac Water Treatment Facility

Pontiac, IL
The Pontiac District is located southwest of Chicago in central Illinois on the Vermillion River.
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Contact Tonka Water with your water treatment needs

Each water is unique and may require different design parameters involving various chemical feed systems with variations in pretreatment and regeneration. Because each nitrate situation is unique, we offer pilot testing to optimize an existing plant or to assist in the design of a new plant. Call your Tonka Water Representative for more information on nitrate removal or any other water treatment needs you may have.

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