High levels of nitrate in South African groundwater used for drinking purposes are a cause of concern due to the possible human health risks associated with consuming nitrate contaminated water. In this study, nitrate removal using surfactant modified zeolite (SMZ) in fixed bed column is explored. The performance of SMZ is studied as a function of bed height, initial concentration, flow rate, and bed diameter. The number of bed volumes processed and capacity of the bed at breakthrough point are used as performance indicators. The bed performance improves with a decrease in bed height while column diameter has no influence on bed performance. Within the studied flow rate range, the highest number of bed volumes processed and bed capacity are observed at a flow rate of 5 mL/min. In an adsorption-desorption process, the performance of SMZ is found to be poor in the subsequent cycle suggesting that the media is suited for single-use only.