In the course of an examination of the waters brought to this laboratory some are occasionally found which are suspected by the owners of the wells to have peculiar properties, from the fact that they seem to produce diuretic effects on strangers using the water. In every case these suspicious waters have been found to be high in nitrates.
Formerly it was supposed that the organic substances held in solution in water had an injurious effect per se, but at the present time nitrates in a water in the absence of nitrites and considerable amounts of free ammonia are considered to indicate that the agents in nature that purify a water have done their work, and that all nitrogenous organic matter has been oxidized to a harmless condition, so that an unfavorable environment for pathogenic organisms has been set up. From the observations which follow it seems probable
YOUNG CC. THE THERAPEUTIC EFFECT OF HIGH NITRATES IN DRINKINGWATER. JAMA. 1911;LVI(25):1881–1882. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560250017009
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