A fluidized zero valent iron (ZVI) reactor is examined for nitrate reduction. Using the system, the pH of solution can be maintained at optimal conditions for rapid nitrate reduction. For hydraulic retention times of 15 min, the nitrate reduction efficiency increases with increasing ZVI dosage. At ZVI loadings of 33 g l−1, results indicate that the nitrate removal efficiency increases from less than 13% for systems without pH control to more than 92% for systems operated at pH of 4.0. By maintaining pH at 4.0, we are able to decrease the hydraulic retention time to 3 min and still achieve more than 87% nitrate reduction. The recovery of total nitrogen added as nitrate, ammonium, and nitrite was less than 50% for the system operated at pH 4.0, and was close to 100% for a system without pH control. The possibility of nitrate and ammonium adsorption onto iron corrosion products was ruled out by studying the behavior of their adsorption onto freshly hydrous ferric oxide at variable pH. Results indicate the probable formation of nitrogen gas species during reaction in pH 4.0.