Re: Tap water

From: Paul Temple (
Date: Fri Sep 03 1999 - 15:33:09 PDT

Date: Fri, 03 Sep 1999 22:33:09 +0000
From: Paul Temple <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3133$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Tap water

Chris ...

>I would like to know if tap water would be alright for those CPs
>that like a more alkaline growth medium, ie. Mexican Pings.

...what an interesting question. The funny thing is that I've never
seen it asked before! (No doubt some bright spark will tell me I missed
it in issue number "minus 23.5".).

A couple of points come to mind.

First, tap water is sometimes harmful to CP's because of the chemicals
contained in it. These build up in the soil and eventually damage and
kill the plant. Calcium salts are a particular danger to plants that
like or need acid coditions - or more specifically for plants that are
not calcium tolerant. but if a plant is calcium tolerant, such as some
Mexican Pings, you could expect that hard tap water (i.e. water with
high calcium levels) would not damage the plant.

However, tap water also contains other chemicals; in the UK most water
now has high fluoride levels, and these added chemiccals may actually
harm plants irrespective of any calcium presence.

In fact, as I have plentiful rain water (no all you Dick Van Dyke
supporters - the UK is not as wet as you think, I just collect
sufficient!) I have never been tempted to use tap water (my area;s water
is so hard you can almost eat it) in case the other chemicals damage the
plants. So maybe someone wth actual experience will reply.

Meanwhile, soft water (e.g. most highland areas of wales or scotland)
is generally neutral but if from a tap still can be expected to contain
added chemicals that will potentially be dangerous to some plants and
will also often acidify the water (so making it less useful to plants
that prefer calcium or non-acidic soils).

Finally, if you do use hard tap water, the salts in it will precipitate
in the soil and accumulate to form ugly deposits. So while it may be
safe in some cases, most people would not like the results

Hope this helps a little.



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