Re: Allentown water

>From: rjw at aluxs_att.com (Ronald Wozniak)
>Date: Thu, 28 Dec 95 12:14:55 EST
>Subject: Sulfur Smell In Tap Water
>The water I get from Allentown tends to be very hard (>300ppm) and usually
>too much nitrates (20 to 60ppm) and occasionally high phosphates (> 5ppm).
>Consequentially, I'm always in the hunt for a good water source.
>I friend of mine, who is into salt water aquariums, uses water from his well.
>The water is also hard (both KH & GH) and contains unmeasurable amounts of
>and phosphates. But, the water has a very strong smell of sulfur.
...............(remainder deleted)..................

Ron:  If the strong smell of sulfur in your friend's well water is a rotten
egg smell, it is due to hydrogen sulfide, and it takes only a very small
amount of that to make a noticable smell.  So, the water may not have that
much sulfur.

If the Allentown water really has 20 to 60 PPM of nitrates, then it may be
a matter of concern, not for aquatic plants or fish, but for the people
drinking it.  Nitrates in drinking water can be converted to nitrites in
the large intestine and absorbed.  Then they react with hemoglobin,
reducing the blood's ability to carry oxygen.  This is a particular problem
in very young children.  Nitrates and nitrites can also be converted in the
intestines to various N-nitroso compounds which are carcinogenic.  I don't
know how high the nitrates in the tap water have to get before one should
become concerned.  Your municipal water department should know, however.  I
would check with them, because 60 ppm sounds kind of high to me.  Your
plants should grow pretty well with all that nitrogen and phosphorus.

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174