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Water Sanitation issues

This is a discussion on Water Sanitation issues within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I harvest rainwater. It is free, of a good pH, and generally reliable. My issue ...

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    Default Water Sanitation issues

    I harvest rainwater. It is free, of a good pH, and generally reliable. My issue is with delivery and sanitation. I am seeing a distinct correlation between the length of time water sits in the barrels, and the occurrence of fungal spotting on the leaves of my Phals.
    I pump directly out of the barrels and into overhead irrigation, but have stopped after recognizing this as a negligent practice.
    I would like to know if anyone a) uses harvested rainwater b) how to clean the water before delivery, and c) anyone's ideas on filtration.
    Thanks all,
    Ryan

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    I have a some what similar problem, it's just a large plastic barrel that collects the rain off the roof, not as fancy a set up as yours. I'm no engineer by any means but I was just sitting lookin at my aquarium and started to wonder if it were possible to cycle the rain water through a filtration set up like the tank? I have, what we down here call "T'ousands", basically guppies, for mosquito control in the tank but the bacteria builds up and it kills them off. It's a pain to keep replacing em.

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    Wouldn't a reverse osmosis system work to filter it out? Specially you can find something online that would easily hook up to your overhead sprinkler system.
    ---- commercial information removed - post edited -see faqs on posting----

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    Dazed, I like the idea of using Biological filtration. I'm wondering if reed grass filtration is a good option. Something like using gravity to slowly move collected water through the reed bed into storage tanks. As far as RO goes. I need to do more research and save a good bit more coin to make that upgrade.
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    Default water filtering

    There's also filtering it through sand. Wish we were finally at our permanent location. I'd love to build a green house like what you've done there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Romeomffn View Post
    There's also filtering it through sand. Wish we were finally at our permanent location. I'd love to build a green house like what you've done there.
    I'd suggest the same, all the gunk will be filtered. A layer of gravel on the top and coarse sand on the bottom should do the filtration for you. A cheaper method is of course broken bricks, a layer of finer pieces on the bottom and coarser ones on the top.

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    I am liking the sand idea, barrels are disassembled and getting cleaned tonight. Reassembly will take place tomorrow with filtration. I will post pictures of the process. Thanks All

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    Quote Originally Posted by CVHorticulture View Post
    I pump directly out of the barrels and into overhead irrigation, but have stopped after recognizing this as a negligent practice.
    I would like to know if anyone a) uses harvested rainwater b) how to clean the water before delivery, and c) anyone's ideas on filtration.
    Thanks all,
    Ryan
    What about running a UV steriliser between the barrel and the pump, set to activate only when the irrigation pump is on? Alternatively you could run one full time via a pump recirculating the water in the barrel.

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    Only RO filtration will get rid of fungal and bacterial spores, a sand filter will not help that issue. The biological filtration be it for aquariums or water treatments is to reduce the amount of ammonia and other organics in the water, as you are collecting rain water, I do not see the point for that since it will be already quite low in dissolved solids either inorganic or organic. The only solution would be to scrub and clean your barrels, pressure clean the misting pipelines to get rid of organisms colonizing these places. And later add some fungicide to the water like Physan so that fungii cannot proliferate anymore.

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    So I feel kind of slack after today. I cleaned the tanks and put them back as they were. For now I am going to extend my mist lines so they are under the benches. By no means a permanent solution. I haven't had any ill affects from watering with the water, I only noticed leaf spotting from the mist. I feel like it will be a more chemically intensive operation until I redo the system. I have to add RO filtration. It seems the only legitimate option, and pretty standard in the commercial/ production sense. I rolled the dice two days ago and watered all of the plants using the rainwater. So far I have seen a substantial increase in new root development. Watering again tomorrow so we will see.

    Amey, I think your advice is spot on. I dont feel like taking chances with something as integral as water. Pythium and Phytophthora are pretty nasty pathogens and having the system done right lowers the occurrence of using pesticides.
    I appreciate everyones advice on this. A bit of a headache to say the least, but not the biggest problem i have encountered, nor expect to encounter.
    I will keep this updated as i make changes.
    Thanks again for all of the input.
    Ryan
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    Last edited by CVHorticulture; June 24th, 2012 at 08:38 PM. Reason: Early send

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