The planet is full of shitty water; thanks to humans. However, there’s still a lot of great water sources out there, but they are an ever-decreasing asset. Water filtration can fix many problems. Growing in the ground is much more forgiving, regarding water source quality. In container growing, it matters HUGE! Let’s rock…
If your tap or well water, has a PPM value of between 50 – 70 PPM, then you only need to remove any chlorine (monochloramine) that has been added. Your water should be fine to use. Just get a couple of cheap TDS meters—these are essential tools. If your water is too high, or too low, regarding PPM, you have other water filtration (and manipulation) options.
Today I’m going to lay out two water filtration units. The links (at the end) for these units and supplies are all from PWP (Pure Water Products). I have been using them for over a decade and I am very pleased with their products and customer service. Both water filtration units are the “countertop” type. They can be hooked up to your garden hose, and they are mobile. Which is nice for growers.
Water Filtration Using Dual Carbon Filters
If your tap, well, or spring water source falls within that magical 50 – 70 PPM range, and has no chlorine added. You are golden. If there has been chlorine added, it’s monochloramine (see link above). This is a super-stable version of chlorine. It cannot be bubbled out, or even boiled or frozen out. Chlorine kills life. We obviously want to be serious about removing it. Afterall, our soil is living. Otherwise, its dirt.
If your water PPM is too high, and chlorinated, you have other options. You could run your high PPM water through the dual carbon filter unit, removing the chlorine. Then use a low PPM water source to cut your high PPM water, until it reaches the desired PPM value. By low PPM water I mean water that is distilled, reverse osmosis, or rain water. All are good for this job. Get a formula resulting in water PPM around 55-65, and you are perfect for living soil in containers. In my experience.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Find your own water formula that works for you. Once you know your formula it’s easy-peasy to replicate that mix for the perfect water PPM every time. Take the chlorine (monochloramine) very seriously. Water filtration only works as good as the filter cartridges. Having your carbon filters go bad is a slow and ugly process for your plants. Very slowly getting issues more and more. It’s a sneaky thing, so make a schedule to change filter cartridges. Never use “softened” water on your plants, unless it has gone through an R/O filter.
Water Filtration Using Dual Carbon and Reverse Osmosis
This is a 3-stage water filtration unit. It has the dual carbon as the unit above. This unit also incorporates a reverse osmosis (R/O) membrane. Hence, 3-stage, 2 carbon filters + 1 R/O membrane/filter. This R/O filter membrane will virtually remove all the PPM value from your water. Or, if your water is “softened” you will definitely want an R/O unit. If your water is really high regarding PPM value, and you have no low PPM water source to cut it with, you can use an R/O unit on that water which will bring it down to around 5 PPM or less. But wait, there’s more…
You don’t want to use a super low PPM water source on your living soil in containers. All you have to do in this case is get some dolomite lime. It can be pelletized as long as it also says fast-acting on it. Otherwise use powdered dolomite lime. Just bubble, with an air-stone, 1/8th teaspoon of dolomite lime per gallon of low PPM water. Do this for 24 hours. Your water should result in that magic range regarding PPM value—55 to 65 PPM. Remove the air-stone and wait 10 minutes. Then pour the dolomite infused water off the top, avoiding any bottom sludge in your plant water.
This has the added bonus of adding calcium and magnesium from the dolomite lime. Cannabis plants love them some calcium and magnesium. Especially while they are flowering. It will also buffer your living soil, keeping it within a favorable pH range regarding most bacteria. Cannabis prefers a bacteria dominant soil. So, there it is there.
Maintenance and Special Concerns
- Very Hard Water: If your water source is way up there in PPM value (AKA “hard water”), like 200 PPM and higher, you may want to add a water softening unit. This way your R/O filtering unit will last much longer filtering softened, hard water, rather than straight-up hard water. It’s easy to tell when your R/O membrane is wearing out, your water’s PPM value will rise.
- Here’s a Link to the Countertop R/O Unit: Countertop Reverse Osmosis Pure Water Products.
- Link to Dual Carbon Water Filtration Unit: Garden Hose Filters Pure Water Products.
- Here’s a Link to the Proper Carbon Filter Cartridges: MatriKX CTO Plus Pure Water Products.
- Wanna Read Another Rev Article: Letters to Rev – Cannabis Growing Advice,: Leaves.
Some of the units come with filter cartridges in them, so double check. For my personal gardens, I replace my carbon filters about once a year. The R/O membranes last years before needing replaced. Regarding the dual carbon canisters that hold the filter cartridges: don’t get the clear ones, get the white ones. Make sure your unit comes with a kitchen sink/faucet, and a garden hose adapter, for greater flexibility. Buy your filters like 4 at a time and save moolah baybee. Set up a repeating schedule on your phone, pad or whatever, to remind you to change filter cartridges (new CTO plus carbons).
L8r G8rs, and a big fat Happy New Year! Best JuJu in this new year my esteemed homeskillets,
- REvski 😊
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.