Question regarding city water and the growing of plants in PNW

Been reading up on what my municipality does to its water and have found out that they obviously put chlorine and ammomnia in to create chloramine. I am trying to start a backyard nursery/small vegetable garden for family use and was wondering if anyone has had any issues in a suburban context with the city water they receive and use onto their plants. I bought some aquarium dechlorinator online, since i don’t think i have the money or time this season to store water but just wanted to read peoples experiences and maybe see if im overthinking all of this! :laughing:

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In addition to what you mentioned, municipalities have a real need to keep the pH of the water supply at pH 7 or higher. This is to prevent pipe corrosion from acids.

If some of your plants have persistent brown tips, it is probably due to the alkaline(s) introduced to the water supply.

You have a lot of choices in avoiding this (if you notice it). One is to not grow those sensitive plants. Another is to fertigate your water, of which there are many methods.

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Thanks for the reply Richard. Yeah I guess maybe soaking nitrogenous materials in a barrel for a time can count as fertilizing my water. I don’t really grow sensitive plants maybe tomatoes, or other nightshades might be sensitive in my experience, their leaves turn grey and slowly die off, a combination of poor air circulation and watering overhead are my conclusions of this problem. I’m just worried about my soil health overall and understand the importance of keeping that PH stable! :slight_smile:

My plants react negatively to my municipal water but i have found if i let the water sit for a couple of days most of the undesirable chemicals seem to dissipate enough that the plants are not obviously impacted. Sometimes i dont have that luxury and add a little bit of ferilizer to offset, usually kelp for edibles miracle gro for ornamentals

That is not due to mineral content of irrigation water.

@ramv , @Noddykitty – Taylor is on Southern Vancouver Island.

If you only need relatively small amounts of water, you can use ascorbic acid to neutralize chloramines. I’ve used heavy duty garbage cans and stock tanks to treat small quantities of water when I lived in town. If I remember correctly, the reaction only takes about 15 minutes. UV light also works, but I think that’s much slower. You’ll probably want to google it–I haven’t used city water for quite some time.

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I don’t know about chloramine, but I read that Metro Vancouver’s water supply is treated with ozone and chlorine to kill pathogens. It also has calcium hydroxide or sodium carbonate plus carbon dioxide added to increase its pH. I’ve been watering all of my fruit trees, shrubs, and garden plants directly with city water for over 40 years and have never noticed any problems.

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The biggest problem I have is mineral deposits in potted plants. With outdoor plants I have never had any problems.
Letting water sit for a day will take out chlorine. But I have never had an issue.
Since I need low pH water for my blueberries I started collecting rain water. Using that in houseplants solved the mineral deposit problem. I store rainwater in garage for the winter.

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I have grown vegetables, berries, fruits, roots, herbs using city water in Portland, OR. I am not aware of any plants died or got sick because of chlorinated water. You’re over thinking :slight_smile:


The water below Spokane is pretty hard. For outside I use sprinklers that loft the water in air some distance before it reaches ground, or fill a 5 gallon bucket with a small (1/16 or 3/32"?) hole drilled into the side just above the bucket floor for the weekly tree soak. It takes 90-100 minutes for the bucket to drain. Both methods seem to diminish whatever chlorine is added to municipal water.

Indoors, I add some distilled water to the tap water, along with a fertilizer that claims to contain a number of trace things. For the “lucky bamboo” I use mostly distilled, because the rim of the mug/pot has quite the scale build-up from its previous owner’s use of city water only. That plant was suffering until I took it home.