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Is tap water good for soil??

 
Kenny Garcia
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Location: Southern California
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Hey all,

So i was thinking today and is using tap water that contains chlorine bad for the soil? I know that chlorine kills bacteria so does it kill microbes in the soil as well when you water your plants? Curious on your guy's response.

Thanks
 
John Polk
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The continued use of chlorinated (and flouridated) waters will indeed have a negative effect on your soil's balance.
Many people counteract this by letting the water sit in barrels or tubs for a day or two.
Chlorine will off-gas rather quickly when exposed to the air. Giving it a good stir periodically should help speed up the process.

 
Ken Peavey
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The process is Salinization.
If tap water is sufficient volume for your irrigation needs, it's probable that the area being irrigated is small. If this is the case, a few barrels to let the water breath, as John Polk points out, will go a long way towards preventing any problem. Rainwater catchment may also be advantageous for your situation.

 
                    
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Chlorine will off-gas rather quickly when exposed to the air.

Yes, chlorine will off-gas, given enough time. However, many municipalities are switching to chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia. This compound remains stable and an effective antimicrobial for much longer and simply setting your water out for a few days will not appreciably reduce the amount of chloramine present in the water. Check with your water provider to ascertain which they are using, chorine or chloramine.
 
Rich Pasto
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Rusty Spik wrote:Chlorine will off-gas rather quickly when exposed to the air.

Yes, chlorine will off-gas, given enough time. However, many municipalities are switching to chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia. This compound remains stable and an effective antimicrobial for much longer and simply setting your water out for a few days will not appreciably reduce the amount of chloramine present in the water. Check with your water provider to ascertain which they are using, chorine or chloramine.


very interesting. My wife works for utilities here, I will ask her if our water has chloramine. Thanks
 
John Polk
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Thanks for the update on water treatment.

This Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloramine

gives multiple methods of neutralizing chloramine.

 
                    
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I used ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) with good results - for awhile. Then I installed a whole house filter. That worked well.
 
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