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Water - Chloramines


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Old 05-08-2016, 12:03 AM
malangon malangon is offline
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Default Water - Chloramines

I'm a beginner to the hydroponics thing and I'm starting this year with a raintower, drip system, and a flood/drain system. I have a mix of plants, but all are vegetables.

I checked my water quality report and found that my water is treated for microbes by using chloramines.

The question I have is: Do I need to treat my water or use RO water or can I get by without taking any additional steps?

I looked into filtration systems at Home Depot and this is beginning to get past my allotted "fun hobby" budget. I did see a $50 filter that removes a large percentage of chlorine. Not sure if it works the same on chloramines.

My other option would be to use Campden tablets as I understand it.

I was hoping that I could get away with using my regular tap water.

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Old 05-08-2016, 12:05 AM
malangon malangon is offline
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Default Water Quality Report

http://www.amwater.com/twq/raritanhu...merset_twq.pdf
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:59 AM
Stan Stan is offline
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If you are worried about any pesticides, chloramines or contaminates in your water supply you can purchase a "carbon filter". I've seen many carbon filters that can be attached to a garden hose.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:41 AM
malangon malangon is offline
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Default Question

Thanks for the reply, but that doesn't answer my question.

The question is: do I need to be worried about these things? I have attached a water quality report. My main concern is that using water that is treated with chloramines will prevent the growth of my plants or kill them.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:07 PM
Stan Stan is offline
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Sorry I cannot look at that report believe it's 100% accurate.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-the-epa-says/

I have been using carbon filters on my drinking water and plants for years.
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:27 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is online now
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Hello malangon,

First I want to say you can do whatever you want, their your plants and it's money. It's all going to be a learning experience no mater what you do. So the choice is yours, the plants are yours, the success and failures and rewards will be yours as well.

With that said water quality is important in hydroponics, many problems new growers experience can be traced back to water quality issues. Just part of the learning curve. I don't know what your "fun hobby" budget is, but think of it this way. If you wanted to paint a barn, but didn't have the money to pay someone to prep and scrape off all the old paint first. So you just bought the paint with what money you did have, and painted over the old paint because prep work wasn't in your budget. The old paint would peal off and take the new paint with it, making your new paint job look crappy. That would just be a waste of the money you did spend because your still left with a crappy looking fence. Not to mention a waste of your time and efforts. So the point is if you set yourself up to fail by not taking care of the basics first, isn't that just wasting your "fun hobby" budget? I guess in the end you will still always have the learning experience though.

I looked at the report you posted, and what I see is you also have Sodium, Manganese, led, Copper, and Nitrate in your water supply. So I'm left wondering why your only concerned with the chloramines which don't even show a value? I also think the report is incomplete because there are some elements that are extremely common like calcium in almost every water supply there is that is missing in this report. Their not even on the list of elements tested for. The report also states "For a complete report of your water quality, please refer to the Water Quality Report located on the American Water web site" So I have to conclude the report is incomplete.

Now with that said, your original question was:
Quote:
The question I have is: Do I need to treat my water or use RO water or can I get by without taking any additional steps?
First it all depends on what's in the water supply. Not just what's in it, but how much of it is in it as well. And As I already mentioned even though they say they use Chloramine as the disinfection agent, there is no valves telling you how much is in the water supply. I have seen a lot of water reports, and to be honest their very confusing, and many are incomplete. Not only that but the water company's are only obligated to conduct one test a year or two, and the values can easily change every day. To make it even more inaccurate, even though your water may come from the same supply, what comes out of your tap is very likely different than someone down the street or a couple blocks away from you. In short I don't really put any stock in water reports anymore, it's just to inaccurate to spend/waste the time on. I just use them to look for the elements that are in the highest concentrations so I can make sure my filtration system's (ion filter) can take them out.

If you use RO water and as long as you have it serviced/change the filters regularly, then no you wouldn't need to take any additional steps. The RO system (when working properly) will take out 85-90% of all the contaminates and dissolved solids. What's left is nothing to worry about.

If not, and want to treat your water, the question I have is what do you mean by treat your water? The term "treat" generality implies introducing something into it. But whatever you put into it, you have to take back out, or your just trading one contaminate for another. The only way to get the contaminates out without adding others is to filter it out. That is dissolved solids/mineral elements anyway, microbes and spores can be killed using UV light treatments without introducing anything to the water except the UV light.

Quote:
I did see a $50 filter that removes a large percentage of chlorine. Not sure if it works the same on chloramines.
No, their not exactly the same. In short, the way I understand it (I'm not a scientist) Chloramine is a more stable longer lasting version of chlorine. While chlorine will quickly dissipate from water, chloramine wont.

(Quote)
"Chloramine, like chlorine, can be removed by boiling and aging. However, time required to remove chloramine is much longer than that of chlorine. The time required to remove half of the chloramine (half-life) from 10 gallons of water by boiling is 26.6 hours, whereas the half-life of free chlorine in boiling 10 gallons of water is only 1.8 hours"

However it can be filtered out with sufficient contact with carbon filters like Stan mentioned. Scroll down this page "Chloramine" down to the section on "Removing chloramines from water" and read the part on "Activated carbon."

While Campden tablets are also listed as a method of removing Chloramine, there is a important drawback when using the water for hydroponics. Like I mentioned earlier, what you put in the water you have to take back out again. Campden tablets are a surfer based product made from potassium and sodium metabisulfite. Once you add the campden tablets, how are you going to extract the surfer, potassium and sodium metabisulfite without filtering it?? If you don't you'll through off the balance of your nutrient solution, you can easily increase potassium and surfer values to toxic levels. And who knows what the sodium metabolite will do the the plants... You'll just be asking for trouble using Campden tablets.

So in short, if you don't have RO water, like Stan said get yourself some good carbon filters. That will take out the chlorine and chloramines, and at least some of the calcium and other mineral salts as well.

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