A recent study performed by the Texas Agrilife Office reports that groundwater concentration of nitrates, or dissolved nitrogen, is on the rise.
Two counties highlighted in this study are Haskell and Knox.
Much of the water in these counties comes from the Seymour Aquifer for agriculture.
The study pinpoints agricultural activities as the main culprit for the increase but Mike McGuire, General Manager of the Rolling Plains Groundwater Conservation District, believes otherwise.
He tells us that nitrates have been documented in the groundwater since people began settling the area and drilling into that aquifer.
He also believes that, as the aquifer levels dwindle, processes underground could be forcing the nitrate to accumulate in the lower water levels.
How does this affect the drinking water, though?
McGuire tells us that the annual tests on wells in the Seymour Aquiger yield concentration results usually between 10 and 18 ppm.
Many towns in these counties, including Knox City, Haskell, and Munday, get their water from Miller Creek.
Others use a mixture of the two sources in an effort to maintain nitrate concentrations below the drinking water standard to 10 ppm.
In the city of Weinert, who receives all their water from the Seymour Aquifer, there is a program that provides free bottled water to families with infants and expectant mothers.
Drinking water with high concentrations of nitrates can lead to methemoglobinemia, or 'blue-baby syndrome', in infants less than six months of age.