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It used to be that we would get calls from customers who wanted to have good water for a "growing operation" but what they were growing was always a little sketchy. Of course, they weren't saying... but we pretty much knew they were growing marijuana. However, these days as marijuana laws relax, we have many calls each week asking things like: "What is the best way to treat my water for growing marijuana?"Now that marijuana has gone "mainstream" I think it's appropriate to discuss how to best treat the water (in States where it is legal, of course). So, in todays blog, I will address the issues. No smoke and mirrors - just the facts.Marijuana, or cannabis plants love H2O: pure water! However, many contaminants, including bacteria, suspended or dissolved solids, iron, tannin, manganese, sulfur and a number of other contaminants can dramatically affect your crop. Pure water is actually very hard to find in nature. The experienced and profitable marijuana grower knows this and understands how important water quality is in producing the best quality product, faster and more profitably.
[caption id="attachment_5594" align="alignright" width="233"]4,000 GPD Reverse Osmosis System[/caption]
Depending upon what part of the country your growing operation is in, the water usually contains significant levels of total dissolved solids (TDS). TDS measures the levels of sodium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, carbonate and bicarbonate in the water supply. Some of these minerals are actually good for plants, but again, the wise grower knows that if there are significant amounts of TDS in the water (usually over 150 ppm), it is best to remove the TDS first. The very successful marijuana growers know that in most cases, reverse osmosis is the best method to treat the water.Reverse Osmosis removes the largest spectrum of contaminants of any water treatment process. It essentially strips out all the dissolved solids and allows the grower to add back the appropriate amount of certain trace elements like calcium and magnesium as well as other nutrients and fertilizers that are necessary for optimum growth. Some growers are not fans of reverse osmosis because they remember the “old-style” reverse osmosis systems that wasted up to 6 or 7 gallons of water per gallon made (15% efficient). However, the new high-efficiencyAmerican Revolution Commercial Reverse Osmosis Systemswaste 1 gallon for every 4 gallons made (80% efficient).Pre-treatment is vitally important for a reverse osmosis system because hardness and chlorine and chloramine are deleterious to reverse osmosis membranes (i.e., hardness and chlorine and chlorine dramatically decrease the life of any reverse osmosis membrane). Additionally, there are two other factors to be considered when growing marijuana effectively:
The pH should be no higher than 6.5; and
The water should be bacteria free (as bacteria has a very hurtful effect upon the marijuana plant).
[caption id="attachment_5596" align="alignright" width="171"]pH Meter[/caption]
pH Adjustment - There are systems designed to maintain the water at a pH below 6.5 (you can actually select the exact level you want).Bacteria Killing – The Silecte Quantum Disinfection System is the method of choice when it comes to killing bacteria. Ozone, ultraviolet and chlorination are all generally accepted methods, but none offer the bacteria killing effectiveness of Silecte. Silecte uses no chemicals, adds nothing to the water, doesn’t need electricity and has no carbon footprint. It kills bacteria at the quantum level and does it better, quicker and deadlier than any other method. See the graphic below comparing Quantum Disinfection to Ultraviolet.Water Testing - Now, read this carefully, because this is the most important part: It is vitally imperative that a potential marijuana grower obtain a detailed water analysis of their water so supply so that it can be properly treated. Here is what we suggest - ACommercial RO Screen. Once we have that we know exactly how to treat the water and can guarantee the results.