Return to the Organic Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Well or tap water?

Posted by sambo725 9 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 11, 10 at 10:29

I just about doubled the size of my garden this year. I have been using rain water in my smaller garden, but now it is just to time consuming to water by hand. I have a sprinkler system for my yard that I can easily hook up to. I had my well water tested by the pool guy, and he said I had to much metals in my water and suggested to use tap water in my pool. Can the well water hurt my garden? Should I just use tap water?

Thanks
Sam


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Well or tap water?

Impossible to tell with info given.

Dan


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 11, 10 at 14:50

If you have municipal water, and that is your tap water, you can get a report from the city that will tell you what's in the water. They have to test for certain solvents, certain pesticides, coliform bacteria, and hardness. Hard water contains extra calcium and magnesium. If your tap water has been run through a water softener, it will have extra sodium, and it should not be used on the garden, or indoor plants. The presence of a water softener implies that you have hard water. High iron content will not hurt the garden, but there could be other metals in the water. This should be listed in the municiple water report. I don't know why your well water would be bad for the garden. What is the history of the well? How recently was it used?


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

You may already have received the information in the mail sometime in the past. In KS, at least, it is called a "Consumer Confidence Report" and every household on a municipal water supply and a few others receives one every year. The reports detail a great deal of chemical information about the water we consume. If your state doesn't issue reports, go to your water supplier and ask for a complete, up to date water quality report including all lab results. You are entitled to a report.


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

Your county health department can test your well water for you, a good idea for those of us one wells periodically anyway, and tell you whether your have potable (drinkable) water from that well. If that well water is potable then you can use it on your garden.
Your municipality, the people that supply your tap water can give you information about the water they supply you. For information about water in your area go to a good reliable source not someone that will be trying to sell you something, such as a water softener, since often they will "find" a problem with your water that requires you purchase their product.
For those with a water softener if you have enough sodium in your water to present a problem there is a problem with your water softener. If you cannot drink the water from your softener you would not want to water your plants with it either, but, unless there is another problem with your water that the softener cannot correct you should be able to drink that water. The reason you do not use softened water in your garden is because of cost, hopefully not sodium content.


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

Its the chlorine in the tap water I am worried about. I don't want to kill the soil bacteria. I know I can't drink my well water, it is just for watering the yard. I thought well water would be better because it does not have the chlorine in it.

Thanks
Sam


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

While the chlorine in your tap water might kill some soil bacteria, if that would make a significant difference in the numbers in your soil there are other problems than your tap water. A good, healthy soil will have so much bacteria, and fungi, that the chlorine in tap water would not make much of a dent in numbers.


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

Its the chlorine in the tap water I am worried about. I don't want to kill the soil bacteria.

!?

Dan


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

If you are watering overhead and are worried about the free chlorine, rest assured, the tiny amount in municipal water 0.2 - 4.0 ppm (legal range) will off gas before it hits the ground or soon after. If you put a foot of water containing 1.0 ppm free chlorine on 1000 ft. sq. of garden, that would be the same as adding 0.00033 gal of actual free chlorine = 1/4 tsp. assuming my math was correct. Check to be sure!


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

Like i said before, i have doubled the size of my garden and just want to use the best method for watering. I have been doing everything organic, and invested a lot of time in preparing the soil. It is way too time consuming to capture rain water, and hand water my garden. This is my 3rd year gardening with a pretty good turn out for a newbie. I am still new to gardening. So for those who helped me, THANK YOU , and for those who mocked me.... Whats the point. I really do appreciate the help, Kimmsr and others!

Thanks
Sam


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

When there is one well there must be others. I think your answer is in sight of your back door.

Plan B.....Call the firm that drilled the well. They either have tests to answer your question or can tell you where to get your water tested.

Those heavy metal reports in "our" area turn out to be iron in two forms. The organic form may not show up in all reports but it does not matter. Neither in drinkable water will do anything but help your garden. I must admit it looks terrible in the report.


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

Sam: just curious, who knocked you? I read back through the responses and didn't see any mocking comments.


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

When somebody copies and paste my exact sentence with no response to it, I consider that mocking.

Its the chlorine in the tap water I am worried about. I don't want to kill the soil bacteria.
!?

dan

why would you just copy and paste my sentence with no response?
I have had a few garden web members tell me not to use tap water because it can kill your soil bacteria. My bad for asking a stupid question.


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

I consider that mocking.

The response was [ !? ]. I separated the characters by a new line and turned off the italics to ensure separation and to be noticeable.

Dan


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

Just where did sambo725 mention a softener? Can anybody read and comprehend anymore? The pool guy said there were too many metals- no mention of a softener. Gee wiz!


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

Traditiional water softeners often make salt an issue to be considered.

I doubt that there is anything wrong but their could be so in doubt one should have it tested. I would be satisifed if three of my neighbors had wells that were OK.


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 15, 10 at 11:17

Sometimes people post questions, without providing the background information that is needed to make a well-reasoned response. We know that the "pool guy" thinks that there is too much metal in the well water for use in the swimming pool, in his opinion. But we don't know if this is bacterial iron, or manganese, or some other metal. We don't know if the well water is unsafe to drink. It might be contaminated with coliform bacteria, or it might not. It might carry high levels of nitrate, from local agricultural fertilizer, or it might not. There could be a municipal water line that runs to the home, or there might not be a municipal line. The local water might be loaded with calcium and magnesium salts, and require a water softener, or, it might not. The original poster steadfastly refuses to provide enough information to make a reasoned response.


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

Ok...So I will get a water test and get back to you. I really don't know what I looking for in the test, but I will consult you all with the results when I get them.
It has not rained here in Florida for over 10 days; I will just use tap water in the mean time.
Again thanks for the help.

Sam


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 16, 10 at 20:13

Given that you live in Florida, I suspect that the "metals" in your well water is iron, and the source of the iron is the cast iron well casing. If the well is not in regular use, iron will slowly accumulate until it becomes more concentrated. I don't think that this water would be harmful to plants, including trees, grasses, and garden. You could have brackish water in your well, water that is somewhat salty, though not as salty as the ocean. If the well water is brackish, it might not be good for the garden.


 o
RE: Well or tap water?

In Michigan the county health departments test your potable water, for a fee of course, to deterimine if it is safe to drink. Testing of well water is required when a home is sold, and a copy of the test a municipal water supplier makes, monthly, can be obtained, although the municipality can charge a nominal fee for that.
A water softener is designed to remove certain substances from the water and salt is the product used to remove those substances from the material used to remove those substances from the water. The tank where this is done is periodically charged with salt water and then it is flushed out. Salt is not used to soften the water, but to recharge the system. There should not be enough sodium in a softened water system to be a health hazard unless the system is malfunctioning.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Organic Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here