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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Lousy tap water

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camprn
TSHRED
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Post  TSHRED 2/20/2015, 11:15 am

It's just not raining here in SoCal so I am forced to use tap water on my raised beds.
My concern is the bad water will harm the soil.

Any filters I could buy for my tap water? The TDS and Chloramine are of concern the most.

Here is my water districts response to my inquiry:

"pH generally is kept at 8.0 and TDS ranges from 500mg/l to 800mg/l depending on the source that we are using at the time. And yes, we are using chloramine as our disinfectant."
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Post  camprn 2/20/2015, 11:42 am

Go ahead and use the tap water, but put it in a bucket or barrel for a day to let some of the treatment chemicals dissipate. IS there anything else that worries you about the water? Do you have a water softening unit at your home?

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Post  TSHRED 2/20/2015, 11:51 am

camprn wrote:Go ahead and use the tap water, but put it in a bucket or barrel for a day to let some of the treatment chemicals dissipate. IS there anything else that worries you about the water? Do you have a water softening unit at your home?

We buy bottled water for consumption.

The problem with Chloramine is unlike Chlorine it does not dissipate easily. Sitting it out does basically nothing.
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Post  camprn 2/20/2015, 11:55 am

TSHRED wrote:
camprn wrote:Go ahead and use the tap water, but put it in a bucket or barrel for a day to let some of the treatment chemicals dissipate. IS there anything else that worries you about the water? Do you have a water softening unit at your home?

We buy bottled water for consumption.

The problem with Chloramine is unlike Chlorine it does not dissipate easily. Sitting it out does basically nothing.
Well  there ya go then... gotta let it sit out longer I suppose. As far as recommending filters, what did your water department recommend?

For what it's worth... http://www.iuhoakland.com/Chloramine.pdf


Last edited by camprn on 2/20/2015, 12:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  TSHRED 2/20/2015, 12:08 pm

camprn wrote:
TSHRED wrote:
camprn wrote:Go ahead and use the tap water, but put it in a bucket or barrel for a day to let some of the treatment chemicals dissipate. IS there anything else that worries you about the water? Do you have a water softening unit at your home?

We buy bottled water for consumption.

The problem with Chloramine is unlike Chlorine it does not dissipate easily. Sitting it out does basically nothing.
Well  there ya go then... gotta let it sit out longer I suppose. As far as recommending filters, what did your water department recommend?

Good question. I'll give them a call. Thanks.
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Post  sanderson 2/20/2015, 12:29 pm

Tshred,   TDS can be lowered with reverse osmosis.   I don't think chloramine evaporates but it can be reduced with activated carbon filter.

http://www.chloramine.org/chloraminefacts.htm
http://www.tdsmeter.com/what-is/#carbon-filtration

Installing these in-line as a point-of-use may or may not be financially feasible.  When it rains, some of these will be flushed from the Mel's Mix.  During the dry season, maybe you can water with the rain barrel water.  Of course, there was a time when rain water was the bomb, but now the first part of a rain water can contain SOX, NOX and particulate matter.  I know the Valley only has good air quality (<50) a few hours after a rain.  When I did my thesis 45 years ago, 20 was the average.

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Post  camprn 2/20/2015, 12:45 pm

I fixed the link I meant to post before.
Here it is again: http://www.iuhoakland.com/Chloramine.pdf

Tshred have you put any thought into other forms of water reclamation?

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Post  kauairosina 2/20/2015, 5:58 pm

check out the Berkey water purifiers (not filters).  Supposed to take all kinds of stuff out and the water tastes really good.  We had purchase Berkeys when Y2K was threatening us and those used filters.  The new ones are a large step above.  You can find them online, of course.
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Post  CapeCoddess 2/22/2015, 11:58 am

sanderson wrote:Tshred,   TDS can be lowered with reverse osmosis.   I don't think chloramine evaporates but it can be reduced with activated carbon filter.

http://www.chloramine.org/chloraminefacts.htm
http://www.tdsmeter.com/what-is/#carbon-filtration

Installing these in-line as a point-of-use may or may not be financially feasible.  When it rains, some of these will be flushed from the Mel's Mix.  During the dry season, maybe you can water with the rain barrel water.  Of course, there was a time when rain water was the bomb, but now the first part of a rain water can contain SOX, NOX and particulate matter.  I know the Valley only has good air quality (<50) a few hours after a rain.  When I did my thesis 45 years ago, 20 was the average.

That guy, John, from Growing Your Greens, has an in-line carbon filter that he recommends.  I believe it's about $35 or so. I'll see if I can find the link later.  I'm thinking about getting one myself as my old body doesn't want to play with the buckets much longer.

Here's John talking about his fave filter:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa9_DPGQ98g
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Post  Turan 2/22/2015, 2:16 pm

Do you see evidence of tap water hurting the soils in your area?  If so, what? Possibly all that is needed is to compensate the alkalinity by adding a bit of vinegar or maybe nothing.
It might be very interesting to ask at a local organic market farm or orchard how they deal with the supplied water.

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