Water quality results are in! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-20-2014, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Water quality results are in!

Hello all,

I just recently emailed the water quality manager for our system. After seeing some weird growth changes in the last 2 months, I wanted to discover if anything had changed, or is out of whack in the system.

Most notably look at the tap water pH dude to Soda Ash (Na2CO3), and I'm also concerned about the resulting sodium interfering with K+ uptake.
The only thing that has changed in the water system in the last 3 months is the addition of a UV sterilizer facility. Could this change things?

What do you guys think of this report?

Total Ammonia (NH3 / NH4+) : generally always less than 0.85 mg/L
Nitrite: varies in the distribution system from 0.005 to 0.150 mg/L on average (highest in summer months)
Nitrate: ~0.13 mg/L at the entrance, not a parameter that we routinely measure in the system, our free ammonia converts to nitrite and we closely monitor those levels instead
Carbonate Hardness / KH: our water is extremely soft, see total hardness below
(CO3 post treated. What do you use to raise this?): we use sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) to increase raw water alkalinity from ~ 3 or 4 mg/L to ~ 22 to 24 mg/L leaving the treatment plant, in the outer Broadway/Griffin Rd. area of Bangor (Judson Heights), we add additional sodium carbonate to increase alkalinity to ~ 45 mg/L for enhanced corrosion control of lead from internal pipes in homes
pH of treated water: leaving treatment plant at 9.75, reduces to a low of ~ 9.3 in the system (lowest in late summer months)
Potassium: not specifically tested for
Phosphate: not specifically tested for, not added in treatment (some water systems use variations of phosphate for corrosion control, but we don’t)
Magnesium: ~ 0.42 mg/L
Calcium: 1.4 to 2.5 mg/L range in the system
General Hardness / GH (Mg + Ca): our water is extremely soft, results never exceed 6 mg/L, usually ~ 5.3 to 5.7 mg/L
Sodium: typically 12 – 14 mg/L
Chloride: typically 4 mg/L
Sulfate (SO4): typically 2 mg/L

Others I would like to know, but not necessary:

Copper: depends on your building, if you’d like to test, I can help you contact a lab that can do lead and copper testing, running the water for 3 minutes will greatly reduce any amount potentially dissolving in over night or during 6+ hour periods of non-use of the water in the building
Zinc: not detected
Iron: not detected
Lead: same answer as for copper
Arsenic: most often not detected, but when it is found, it is at very low levels ~ 0.00052 mg/L at most, lab detection limit is 0.00050 mg/L, so it is barely detected
Lithium: not specifically tested for, very unlikely to be present given the extremely protected nature of the water supply
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-20-2014, 06:19 PM
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Now that is soft water! If the water is aerated for a day I'll bet the pH drops back to near 7, due to atmospheric CO2 dissolving into the water.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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It drops to about 7.6
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