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The Release and Transport of Nitrate in the Groundwater

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The nitrogen is brought to the ground from the atmosphere by the natural reactions of atmospheric nitrogen with the rainwater and reaches the earth as nitrate and ammonium salts. The nitrate gets accumulated in mainly in the groundwater. This nitrate accumulation is mainly due to the natural processes of nitrogen cycle and anthropogenic sources. The anthropogenic sources include agricultural processes, septic tanks, and application of the nitrogen-rich fertilizers in the land. The increase in the level of nitrate is alarming the world’ s environment. Nitrate, nitrous oxide and Ammonia are the major environment affecting factors.

Of these compounds, the nitrate is of great concern because of their teaching ability into the groundwater source. 1 SORPTION AND DESORPTION: The ammonia and other nitrogen sources are adsorbed well into the soil. These adsorption mechanisms were of two types. Physical adsorption and chemisorption. It was found that the chemisorptions will take place first followed by the physical adsorption. The Hydrogen bonding was found to be the best source of physical sorption. The physical adsorption was found to be very weak and found to have a short duration because of the drop of the pH quickly in the first week and thus enables the diffusion of the ammonia and influence the reduction of the concentration in the soil.

(Schepers and Raun 2008). 2 ATTENUATION OF NITRATE IN GROUNDWATER: The rate of presence of nitrate in groundwater is found to play a critical role in the nitrate pollution. The process of reducing the concentration of nitrate in the soil is done by the nitrifying bacteria. The presence of the bacteria is influenced by many factors. The presence of the oxygen and the carbon concentration are also found to influence the denitrification rates.

They include nutrient availability, pH, temperature, the concentration of the nitrate, the presence of the toxins and the presence of other microorganisms etc.

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