Nitrate risk in the US (IMAGE) Rice University Caption Many areas of the United States are at risk of contamination of drinking water by nitrates and nitrites due to overuse of agricultural fertilizers. Credit USGS Usage Restrictions For news reporting purposes only. License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.