Here in Salisbury, MD the current recorded reading for Nitrate (N03) is 6ppm or 6mg per 1kg of water. The API Master Test Kit Nitrate test is one of the most complicated tests in the kit making you shake regent #2 for 30 seconds. Aquarist recommend to shake for 2 minutes before dropping regent #2. I have done both of these methods to get readings of 40ppm to 80ppm on Nitrate in the Salisbury, MD tap water.
I have contact the city water department and they have told me the readings of 6ppm using their kit. I have tested the tank, filtered water and straight tap water to get ALL the same readings of 40-80ppm.
Tomorrow I will be taking a video and pictures of my testing the water with a control group of Aquafina or some brand of water. I might get two just to ensure accuracy. I will test all of the waters, recording myself taking the samples and putting in the solution. I will use two cameras to ensure proff that I am testing the right waters.
After this I will take multiple samples to PetSmart and Super Pet to see if they will get the same readings using their kits.
Depending on results and information I will contact the city about this issues as a level of 45ppm of NO3 and levels of 10ppm or greater of NO3-N (Nitrate-Nitrogen) are toxic.