St. Paul, MN  (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Department of Health issued a report Wednesday that says a growing number of communities throughout the state are dealing with rising levels of nitrate pollution in their drinking water supplies.

The annual Drinking Water Report shows 14 Minnesota communities need to use costly treatment technologies because the nitrate levels in their water supplies exceed federal health standards. Another 61 communities have elevated nitrate levels and are working with the State Health Department to remedy the problem before the levels rise to the point the water requires treatment to remove the nitrates.

Among the non-community water systems, the report found about 10- percent have elevated nitrates levels and 13 had violations for exceeding standards last year.

According to the report, the nitrates come from fertilizer, manure, septic systems and the natural decomposition of organic materials, which can pose a health hazard when those sources become concentrated and the excess nitrates enter the groundwater and other sources of drinking water.

Gov. Mark Dayton has repeatedly said that is making water quality and water pollution the top issue for his administration.

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