Scaling UP! H2O

291 The One About Nitrite

We’re bringing back listener favorite, James McDonald, CWT on the show to talk about Nitrites. Today, he answers listener questions such as:

      • How do you convert Nitrite to Sodium Nitrite?
      • How do you make sure your Nitrite levels are not too high or too low?
      • Does microbiological activity impact nitrite levels?
      • What can cause a reaction in a closed loop system when there’s Nitrite involved?
      • What do you need to know before adding a biocide to a system that has Nitrite in it?
      • How can you prevent pitting from happening when you are using Nitrite?
      • What is Nitrite used for?

Bottom line: Tune in to learn all about Nitrite from James McDonald. 



Trace Blackmore welcomes you to the podcast made by water professionals for water professionals [01:01]

Periodic Water Table With James McDonald [4:15]

All about Nitrite with James McDonald, CWT [8:20] 

What sparks inspiration [16:00]

How to get involved with the AWT Technical Committee [27:00]

Trace and James tell Chuck Norris Jokes [36:00]

Upcoming Events for Water Treatment Professionals [38:00]


Periodic Water Table With James McDonald

With the right lighting, this molecule has a certain glow about it.  Why is PTSA used?  Can PTSA be used in both cooling towers AND Boilers?  Why or why not?  How about closed loops?  What does PTSA stand for?  What is a typical dosage of PTSA?  How is the concentration of PTSA measured?  What can cause PTSA to degrade?  Is PTSA compatible with all biocides?  Why did PTSA come into more widespread use within the last decade or so?  Should other parameters be measured regularly in addition to PTSA or can one rely solely upon the PTSA reading when monitoring product dosage? 



“Nitrite can be tested in the field, which is great because not everything can be.” – James McDonald

“To convert from Nitrite to Sodium Nitrite, you multiply Nitrite by 1.5; that’s a big multiplier. So if you’re not talking apples to apples, you’re talking apples to oranges, and you may be out of range and not know it.” – James McDonald

“Having too low of Nitrite levels can be worse than no Nitrite in the system because of the pitting that can occur.” – James McDonald

“Nitrite can be bug food. Do some tests and make a plan.” – James McDonald

“Nitrite can get a reaction in a closed loop when adding sulfites and biocides.”  – James McDonald


Connect with James McDonald

LinkedIn: in/james-mcdonald-pe


Industrial Water Treatment Cartoon:

James McDonald Press Release:

Read or download Here


Links Mentioned

The Rising Tide Mastermind

CWT Practice Course from the Scaling UP! H2O Academy 


2023 Events for Water Professionals

Check out our Scaling UP! H2O Events Calendar where we’ve listed every event Water Treaters should be aware of by clicking HERE or using the dropdown menu.


Book Mentioned

Drop by Drop: Articles on Industrial Water Treatment by James McDonald


Water Treatment education

2 Replies to “291 The One About Nitrite”

  1. Good Morning! I would like to know more about the Periodic Water Table with James McDonald episodes. I am hoping to share a list of these episodes with my co-workers. We are a small wastewater consulting company located in Louisiana (Environmental Business Specialist). We focus heavily on the biological side of wastewater treatment and I find these episodes very helpful! Are you planning on rolling out more of these episodes on this channel throughout this year?

    1. Hi Christina! Thank you for tuning in to Scaling UP! H2O. Your question about the “Periodic Water Table with James” is a good one, and I’m thrilled to tell you that you’re in for a treat! All of our podcast episodes airing in 2023 feature a “Periodic Water Table with James” segment. Plus, if you are new to our podcast, back in 2022 we had a “Thinking On Water with James” section in every episode. All previous episodes can be found in the drop-down menu on this website. Every little drop counts when it comes to increasing our water knowledge, and we’re so glad you’re joining us on this journey. Remember, if there’s a particular topic you’d like us to cover in a future episode, please let us know! Thank you again for helping us scale up our knowledge, so we don’t have to scale up our systems. Keep up the great work!

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