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Is Using Creek Water Safe

Posted by mdsmd (My Page) on
Sat, May 10, 08 at 10:06

Hello, My wife waters our small vegetable garden using water from a small creek that runs through our property. Has anyone considered the question of the safety of doing this? I would be greatly appreciative of anyone who could provide insight into this.

Thank you!

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RE: Is Using Creek Water Safe

You could have the water tested and find out if there is contamination of some kind. These days, there is a wide variety of things in water: excess farm chemicals, toxic waste from old mines or manufacturing upstream, parasites like giardia and cryptosporidium from wildlife and livestock, etc. Some (like lead and other heavy metals) can be absorbed by the plants, others could be just surface contamination (like parasites).

Call your local Cooperative Extension Service office, and talk to them about what you want to know. EXACTLY what you want to know. Don't just say you want to have your water tested, or they'll charge you about $8 and just do a bacterial or coliform test. If they don't do it, they will know who does. Then talk to THEM about what you want to know.

If the water needs some sort of purification, ask if a simple slow sand/charcoal filter would take care of most of it. They will know what these are, as many municipal water companies use them. You can make a simple one yourself fairly cheaply, I think. Just google 'slow sand filter' and consider including a couple of 3-4" thick bands of charcoal embedded within the sand.


Here is a link that might be useful: U.S. Cooperative Extension Service offices

RE: Is Using Creek Water Safe

Sue, Thanks for your input and the link. Honestly I had forgotten all about asking the extension service, I haven't ever had a chance to use them. It's all just common sense .... glad to have some of yours to use as well!!

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