Combined Nitrate + Nitrite

Combined nitrate + nitrite a measure of inorganic nitrogen, the sum of nitrates and nitrites. Both are essential plant nutrients but can cause algal overgrowth in excess amounts. Fertilizer, sewage leaks and decomposing plant material all contribute to combined nitrogen levels in aquatic environments. The state criterion for combined nitrogen in a healthy water body is .008 mg/L. All of the data collected from Enchanted Lakes gave combined readings that far exceeded the state criteria figure. All of the sites that were analyzed are located in heavily populated residential areas and are subject to fertilizer-rich runoff. This could explain the high combined nitrogen levels collected over the study period.