This is a question we are asked often.  Below we will break down the common sources and things you should know about each.

Well Water

Well water is a great choice as a number of minerals will already be present.  Some Tower Garden owners choose to purchase an inexpensive in-line filter to attach to the end of their hose to remove odors and sediment.  If you have a large amount of iron in your well water you may want to use a filter which will reduce or eliminate iron deposits inside the shower cap and each white pot of the Tower Garden. A couple of examples can be seen below.  Prices range from $17 – $40 and the longevity of the filter will depend on the volume of water you are filtering and the filter itself.

City Water
Your City may add Chlorine or Chloramine.  Give your City a call and ask them what they add to the water.  There is mixed information out there about the effects of Chlorine or Chloramine on plants. Some say it does not affect them, others say it does.  If your seedlings were doing great and then you transplanted them to the Tower and they wilted, I would go out on a limb and say that your water source was more than likely the problem.  Now bear in mind that not all seedlings may wilt.  The variety and age of the seedling will be a factor.  So what can you do about it?

Image courtesy of Simon Howell www.freedigitalimages.net

Chlorine
Chlorine is relatively easy to remove.  Read on as we discuss ways to remove Chlorine from your water.

Chloramine
Chloramine will not easily dissipate and because of this more and more City’s are using it to treat their water.  It may stunt the growth and fruit production of plants.   Chloramine, like chlorine, can be removed by boiling and aging. However, time required to remove the chloramine is much longer than that of chlorine. The time required to remove half of the chloramine (half-life) from water by boiling is 26.6 hours, whereas the half-life of free chlorine in boiling water is only 1.8 hours.

How to Remove Chlorine
Let it sit in the sun for 24-48 hours
Fill buckets (food grade) with the city water and leave it out in the sun for 24-48 hours.  Over time the chlorine will dissipate.  After a day or two put the lid on so as to avoid algae growth.

How to Remove Chlorine/Chloramine
Purchase an inexpensive filter
A filter can be used to remove Chlorine.  Prices range from $17 – $40 and a few examples can be seen below.

Chlorine Neutralizing Liquids
We are often asked about these.  Some of them are Sodium hypochlorite, otherwise known as Bleach. They are often labelled as being safe for fish and plants. Just remember that anything you put in your reservoir or spray on your plants is absorbed by your plants and then you are going to eat it!  Do we recommend them?  No, there are other ways to safely and effectively remove chlorine/chloramine.

Boiling
Because of the time it takes to remove chlorine or chloramine from water by boiling it, it isn’t a suitable solution for us!

Rain Water
Rain water is great however, contamination is always possible by airborne dust and mists, bird feces, and other debris, so some testing and treatment may necessary.

Reclaimed/Lake Water
Due to the possibility of contamination and runoff of pesticides and herbicides neighbors may be using in their yard we do not recommend using reclaimed water.

RO Water
RO is fine.  Chloramine is removed by a carbon filter in your RO system so ensure the filter is not depleted.

 

16 Thoughts on “What water source should I use in my Tower Garden?”

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