How to Dechlorinate Your Water
How to Dechlorinate Your Water
When you’re watering your plants, it may be tempting to reach for the kitchen or garden tap and use straight unfiltered tap water. Unfortunately, the various elements in tap water will interfere with your plants’ absorption of nutrients and supplements, and stunt your potential growth and yield. Using fresh tap water on your soil or growing media will kill a number of microbes in the root zone, primarily throughout the top ⅓ of your pot and your surface area.
The most common problem you’ll encounter with tap water is the chlorine present. Plants are able to absorb chlorine, but they only need very minimal quantities, and you shouldn’t ever need to add any. Watering or irrigating with tap water will over chlorinate your plants. Over chlorination will result in reduced growth and yields. On average, tap water in the UK has a 0.5mg/l of chlorine. Water companies attempt to meet this standard, but it can vary slightly either way, up to around 1mg/l.
In addition to chlorine, tap water also contains chloramines. Chloramines can be even more damaging to your plantlife than chlorine. Chloramines are typically used as water sanitizers, and contain chemical compounds of chlorine and ammonia.
What Are Your Options?
Allow Your Chlorine to Evaporate Naturally
While it may not be the quickest or most exact method, if you leave your water (either in a bucket or a tub) uncovered and in a well ventilated area, the chlorine will evaporate over time. The time needed for this method to be effective will be entirely dependent on the size of your receptacle and the amount of water you’re using. You should then use a chlorine test to see how much remains in your water before proceeding.
Unlike chlorine, chloramines do not evaporate. For this reason, leaving tap water to stand before using it will not remove chloramines.
Filtering Your Water
There are suitable filters available for removing the chlorine from your water, however, these often will not be able to fully remove the chloramine. A good quality inline water filter containing granular activated carbon will deal with the majority of chlorine from tap water. For complete removal you will need a Reverse Osmosis filter. Most compact water chlorine filters do not deal with chloramine effectively, where chloramines are present you will need either four times as much carbon in the filter, a pre-filter containing KDF media and/or surface enhanced ‘catalytic carbon’.
Neutralise from Ecothrive
An excellent alternative to both airing and filtering water is Neutralise from Ecothrive. Neutralise is ideal for treating water before adding your microbial products or liquid nutrients, and is suitable for use with any other brand of nutrient or additive. Neutralise can be used with soil, coco and hydroponic systems as a pre-treatment for irrigation water and nutrient solutions. Neutralise will not affect the final conductivity, but is mildly acidic and can reduce the pH of soft tap water by 0.1. If you have moderate or hard tap water you will not notice any effect on pH. Neutralise instantly dechlorinates tap water, protecting beneficial microbes from the harmful effects of both chlorine and chloramine and increasing plant health and yields over straight tap water.
How Does Neutralise Work?
Ecothrive advise: Neutralise is formulated to deal with 0.6mg/l of total chlorine (free chlorine and chloramine) when used at 1ml per 20L, or if using the dropper bottle 1 drop per L.
Most tap water will have 0.5mg/L total chlorine or less, so Neutralise will deal with the majority of situations. If you have more that 0.6mg/L total chlorine then you can use a double dose, 2 drops or 1 ml per 10L. Each drop is consistently 0.05ml (50 microlitres).
How to Use:
Add 1 drop per L of tap water using the dropper provided.
Add 1ml per 20L for larger applications.
The active ingredient in Neutralise is concentrated Vitamin C, a totally safe ingredient for your soil and plants. When Neutralise is added to chlorinated water, the Vitamin C is rapidly oxidised by the chlorine and chloramine. In this process the chlorine compounds are reduced to chloride, which is harmless to microbes. Chloride is also a micronutrient required by plants at very low levels.
The improvement you’ll observe in plant health will be considerable, which should translate to a substantial increase in your harvest as well.