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water sourcing and heavy metal removal?  RSS feed

 
Darrin Neagoy
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Hi,

This is my first forum post. I have started my compost pile and have been using tap water with chlorine in it. After wondering for a while if the chlorine would be an issue  I've found that it's probably better not to add that tap water.  I live on a major reservoir in Texas and can use that water instead to water the compost pile. However there is a high concentration of heavy metals in the water which is why I elected to use the tap water. Is there a way I could filter that lake water and use it in the compost in an inexpensive or natural matter?

When I apply the water I use a hose nozzle making the water have a mist. Is that enough to evaporate the chlorine from the water? I ask because I was once told this worked in aquaponics.

Would my best option be to simply set water aside and dechlorinate it? Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!
 
Craig Dobbson
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I think your best bet is to use the tap water but allow it to off gas the chlorine.  I'm not sure there is a simple way to deal with the heavy metals, so I would just not bother with it if I had another option.

By the way, what metals are you having an issue with?  

Is rainwater harvesting a possibility for you? 

In the past I would fill buckets or barrels with "city water" and just let it sit outside for a few days before I used it.  There didn't seem to be any issue with that.  Not as good as rain, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

 
Darrin Neagoy
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It's been fairly dry in my area for a few months. If it doesn't rain we may be getting a burn ban again, that's my opinion. At this time I don't have a means to collect water if it rains.
The water has high mercury, possibly lead, and perhaps other agriculture run off chemicals. To get rid of invasive aquatic plants... I can't remember the name, they sprayed something akin to round up in the water too last spring.

I'll just store containers of water. Thank you.
 
Marco Banks
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I agree with Craig -- just fill a couple of 5 gal. pales with tap water and let it sit for 2 days.  All the chlorine will gas off quickly.

In the grand scale of things, that little bit of chlorine probably won't do anything that adverse to the microbes in your compost pile, as they are hearty little suckers and come back quickly.  But if it's not that much of a bother, just fill a bucket or two and let it de-tox on its own before you dump it on your pile and give it a good drink.

That's a bit scary that they dumped all that nastiness into the lake like that. 
 
Tom Rodgers
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I cannot tell anybody that the tap water I use on my piles is hurting anything. We have an irrigation ag meter but it runs off the same main from the city as the house meter. Chlorine in small amounts is a micronutrient, but that has to vary in soils I imagine. I would not go to the extra effort, and you can have compost tested like soil anyway, if you really wanted to make an effort toward that kind of study. It might be worth it given your description of that body of water with pollutants in it.
 
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