The EPA established drinking water regulations for ten inorganic substances and radionuclides that became effective on June 24, 1977. As a result of these regulations, many communities may be required to construct new treatment facilities or to modify or improve on existing ones. This paper on the removal of nitrate and fluoride from drinking water is the first of a series that reviews existing treatment technology for meeting the EPA Interim Primary Drinking water Regulations. Information and data is presented on the effectiveness of existing treatment techniques to remove or lower the concentrations of the ten inorganic contaminants, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, fluoride, lead, mercury, nitrate, selenium and silver, and the regulated radionuclides that include Radium 226 and 228, gross alpha particles, beta particles, and photon radioactivity. The effectiveness of convention treatment techniques such as chemical coagulation, lime softening, and ion exchange will be emphasized; reverse osmosis and electrodialysis are discussed only when conventional methods are shown to be ineffective. The material presented consist of information and data from a general review of the literature and EPA's recent work on the removal of heavy metals from drinking water by conventional treatment methods.