Tap Water - How do you deal with chloramine

mikedavid00August 8, 2011

Every time I've tried to use an organic soil mix, I feel that it hasn't worked because I've had chloramine in my water.

Chloramine is not chlorine. It cannot be boiled out.

Can someone tell me how they deal with their tap water? Or is it really that damaging for an organic grow?

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

I copied this from wikipedia:

Removing chloramine from water

Chloramine can be removed from tap water by treatment with superchlorination (10 ppm or more of free chlorine, such as from a dose of sodium hypochlorite bleach or pool sanitizer) while maintaining a pH of about 7 (such as from a dose of hydrochloric acid). Hypochlorous acid from the free chlorine strips the ammonia from the chloramine, and the ammonia outgasses from the surface of the bulk water. This process takes about 24 hours for normal tap water concentrations of a few ppm of chloramine. Residual free chlorine can then be removed by exposure to bright sunlight for about 4 hours.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 10:11AM
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Or, just get some chlorine & chloramine remover, found in the fish tank department at either a pet store, Walmart or something like it.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 6:05PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Thousands of us are growing with municipal water that is treated with various chlorinating compounds and doing well. It's very likely that if you're asking chlorination to shoulder the burden for plants you're not happy with, that you're looking in the wrong direction.

Why are you unhappy with your plants, what are you using for a growing medium, and how are you ensuring that your plants get all the nutrients (and air in the root zone) that they need to function normally?


    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 6:09PM
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I forgot to ask, you say "every time I've tried to use an organic soil mix, I feel it hasn't worked". Does this mean that when you've used a non-organic mix, that you've been successful?


    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 7:12PM
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Well what happens is that for years I've been trying to grow grape tomatoes for my salads. I want them to taste the best they can so heard that organic is best.

I use a soil of worm castings, kelp meal, bone meal, blood meal and some snake oil molasses type stuff called Liquid Karma..

The bottom leaves always end up falling off and the foliage is light green.

Right now I'm starting in Al's 5-1-1 mix with powdered dolomite lime and sure enough, the seedlings are suffering. The seedlings first suffered from over watering (drooping down leaves), now there's some mild rust spots. Almost like it's a PH problem creating a nutrient deficiency.

This isn't supposed to happen with the 5-1-1 mix. Is it the chloramine the water doing this? I mean damn what's the issues here. Why do my plants ALWAYS suffer no matter what type of soil mix or feeding?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 11:47PM
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Firstly, that organic mix you described sounds horrible in regards to drainage, so I suspect you were having some issues because of that. Also, a soil like that would not allow too much air into the root zone, which is another problem.

As for your 5-1-1 mix, I don't want to steal Al's thunder here, but you're going to have to describe your mix, to make sure you've got the right particle size and such. Also, you have to describe your fertilizing routine, including what kind, how much you use, and how often. Also, in my experiences, if you let your mix dry out too much, it will turn hydrophobic, and actually repel your watering attempts. The top will appear wet, but dig an inch down, and it's bone dry.

I seriously doubt the problem is pH or chloramine. Also, wherever you heard that organic growing will make your tomatoes taste best, was likely a biased source. Many people grow organically for other reasons, but in my experience, taste is not effected. Also, save the organics for regular gardens, not containers. Organics and containers go together like mouse & snake, it appears ok for a little while, then at some point, things go sour.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 6:46PM
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LMoon310(8B/9A- border)

I know people that also hate the chloramine and feel it affects their pH. I'm a little surprised no one else said it makes a difference. I personally do not feel it bothers my plants. I think it makes the pH of our water a little alkaline. I live in an area with lots of pine trees and pine needles are constantly in my pots so I just leave them in for their acidity. I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but my plants seem happy.
There are quite a few indoor growing stores or hydroponic growing stores where I live, and sometimes those people working there are more knowledgeable about that stuff. I know you want organic, but General Hydroponics makes a pH up and down, you may want to add if your pH bothers you that much. I know people who won't grow without it. You can also call the GH customer service number ask them. Your best bet is to find someone in your area that is a botanist or horticulturalist that knows your municipalities water system. I was able to find one at the local college who was so knowledgeable and solved all my problems.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 7:57AM
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