Have you been using bore water in an AeroGarden: What a Mistake! I have an AeroGarden, and I’ve been buying distilled water as advised by the company. I have not been using bore water in my AeroGarden. Many of us reside in areas where our only water supply comes from underground sources. If you have an AeroGarden system as I have, you may have been going to the supermarket when you can get into town to buy distilled water. But at times, this is not always possible.
Some of us have been brought up on bore water and haven’t had any problems. It depends on where you live and whether using underground water is suitable as an alternative water supply for your AeroGarden and edible plants. Bore water contains many chemicals and pathogens that can affect your plants. Therefore, it’s essential to keep testing your bore water for successful growth. My post will look into bore water and provide advice and offer a step-by-step solution to solving your bore water problems for your aerogarden.
But what is Bore Water?
When it rains, bore water seeps through the ground through soil and rock, and for many of us it’s the only way to access underground water is by pumping up from under the bottom to the top to be held in a storage water tank.
To gain access to the underground water, a deep hole is bored down into the earth vertically to provide easy access to water in the aquifer. Also known as water storage, a pipe is inserted to allow the water to be pumped to the surface.
Depending on your area, bore water is not ideal for personal use unless it has been tested at the laboratories and, if needed, may need treatment before you use it in your AeroGarden system and edible vegetables and salads.
Types of Bores
Depending on where you live, you may either have a deep bore or a shallow bore.
Deep bore is ideal because the underground water usually about 20 meters or more of rock, clay and soil that act as natural filters. A shallow bore is much closer to the surface and is more susceptible to contamination because it is not protected from rock, clay, sand, or soil formation.
What is Bore Water used for?
The quality of bore water in your area will depend on what you want to use it for, for instance in a farming area the water is used for:
- Watering gardens
- Washing clothes
Bore water can contain contaminants or pathogens
In some areas, bore water can be safe for drinking, cooking, swimming pools, watering vegetables and salad leaves. However, it’s best to have the water tested by a specialist. When it comes to shallow bores, it’s not recommended due to the possibility of contamination. Testing requirements is highly recommended to ensure it is safe to use.
If you have already been using bore water and your AeroGarden and plants seem unaffected, it doesn’t mean that there is no contamination. But examples below show you may see some noticeable differences, such as
- froth or foam around sprinkler outlets
- The colour of your water may be different
- rotten egg smell
- dying and wilting vegetation
- low or high pH level (acidity and alkalinity)
The leaching of various sources can affect the quality of your bore water and may include:a.
- Chemical impurities
- Heavy metals such as lead and copper
- Organic compounds
- E. Coli (faecal contamination)
- High-level salt
So, if you use bore water, it is advisable to have it tested regularly to ensure it is safe to use and is not harmful to humans, animals and plants. Depending on what you use your bore water for, testing is essential if you use it for food preparation, cooking, ice making and eating edible plants.
Will my plants survive on bore water?
For a plant to survive on bore water, it greatly depends on the type of plant you are growing. Some plants are tolerant to water, and others are susceptible and will probably die.
Testing your bore water
Regular testing of underground water is essential for tracking the conditions of our vital resource. In some areas, we need to monitor salinity, and many states or councils will offer free salinity testing from all licensed bores or wells. As landowners, it is our responsibility to provide samples in the containers provided.
It’s advisable to test your deep bore water annually at the commencement of summer or even every two years, and shallow bores need testing more often. When testing underground water, what should the levels be, and what do I look for if something is wrong? The water samples help us to understand, monitor and improve salinity in high-risk areas.
Fill in the Tags
Taking a sample is quite an easy process. I will first need to fill in the tags for each water bottle container. The information required is the Licensee name, contact phone number, sample date, License or permit number, number, bore reference name, and email address.
Before collecting water samples we will need to run the bore sprinklers for 15 minutes to clear out any stale water from the pipes.
Return water samples
Return the water samples to one of the locations listed in your letter. Once the samples have been analysed, the results are sent to you by email. For a professional analysis breakdown to understand your bore water’s chemistry, including salt content and pH, click here.
Ideal pH Level for my AeroGarden plants
To test your water’s pH level, you can do this yourself by using a pH test kit. This way, you can find out if the bore water is suitable for growing your herbs or edible produce. An unbalanced pH level will affect plant health. If your bore water is acidic or has too much alkaline, its ability to uptake nutrients will be hindered and make the plants sick.
The ideal pH range for your aerogarden is between 6-8 pH.
You will need to adjust to how much nutrients to add to your AeroGarden.
Pros and Cons of using Bore Water in my AeroGarden
- Cheaper water options for home and crops
- Long term financial benefit
- The safe alternative source of water
- Ideal for toilet flushing
- Laundry washing
- Watering the grass, gardens and crops
- Okay for cooking, drinking and bathing
- Layout is costly
- It can easily be contaminated
- It is not ideal to use for consumption (depending on your area)
- Water requires testing
- May require a water purification system installed, which can be costly
- Decreases the water table levels in the area, creating an impact on the environment
Step by step solution to filtering bore water
Can I use a filtering system to purify my bore water?
Bore Water can be purified and will require testing processes before installing a suitable purification system. Once the water has been tested, you will be able to ascertain its suitability for drinking and your AeroGarden.
The best solution is to test your water to determine the hardness. Many testing laboratories will provide you with sterile containers and instructions on how to take samples. As an alternative, you purchase a home testing kit and test the water yourself. The home testing kit may not provide an accurate answer, but it is a more cost-effective way of finding out what to do next.
Test for ammonia with a freshwater testing kit available from aquarium suppliers and pet shops.
Boil the water over high heat and boil for three to four minutes. Remove your pot from the heat and allow it to cool. When you look inside the pot or kettle, you will see visible lime particles settling at the bottom. Strain the water. Boiling the water allows you to soften the water without the use of harmful chemicals for your Aeroarden.
Water filter system
You can filter your bore water using a water filter pitcher that provides water softening for drinking water. You can purchase these filters in many retail outlets, and they are ideal for softening small amounts of water for your AeroGarden.
In my opinion
In my opinion, bore water is okay to use in an AeroGarden system. However, it’s advisable to test your water for contaminants and do pH testing to see if your water is suitable.
Our underground water where I live is within the area of the prescribed well and extracted from two sub-aquifers. Both aquifers contain good quality water, but it’s hard and can shorten the life of my water pump in my aerogarden because of high levels of minerals. It is always best to let the water settle for a week in a container before using it in your unit. Use only the top half of the settled water.
According to the water levy board, bore water is used on plant production systems such as greenhouses, hydroponics or nurseries. But AeroGarden advises using water with no chemicals, such as distilled water, because their liquid nutrients are precisely made to balance your plants’ nutrient water level.
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