Water quality can affect many aspects of a cultivation business. From introducing contaminants to reducing yield, poor water can take a toll on your company’s bottom line. HydroLogic Purification Systems’ Rich Gellert explains the benefits of using Reverse Osmosis water in your cannabis business.
1. What are the benefits of using Reverse Osmosis (RO) water for irrigation?
Knowing your water source doesn’t fluctuate and is always free of contaminants is critical to becoming consistent. Starting with pure water allows you to customize every ppm (parts per million) in the nutrient formula to be plant-specific and bio-available, leading to increased plant growth, higher-quality end product and larger harvests. Fluctuations in pH will also be minimized by stabilizing the base water and dialing in the ratio of carbonates to bicarbonates.
2. Are there other benefits of using RO in a cultivation operation?
Many greenhouse facilities use evaporative cooling pad walls. By running RO water over these, you will extend their life greatly by avoiding the scaling associated with untreated water. ROI on a reverse osmosis system can be less than a year if you are constantly changing the pads due to scaling. Also, RO water is great to avoid mineral scaling on things like humidifiers, cooling towers and even greenhouse rooftops.
3. Do RO Systems Waste Water?
The RO membrane acts as a barrier to all dissolved solids. Pure H2O molecules pass freely through the membrane, creating purified product water. The rejected contaminants are concentrated in the waste water stream (also referred to as the RO concentrate). While it is true that all Reverse Osmosis systems have a certain amount of waste water, HyperLogic commercial and industrial series reverse osmosis systems can produce up to a four-parts product to a one-part waste water ratio, making them the most efficient systems on the planet.
4. Will using pure water really affect my results?
For the serious cannabis professional, the guesswork of what might be in source water should be eliminated. Purifying source water changes its mineral profile from a variable to a constant. Starting with pure water removes water-quality issues from the equation and ensures a consistent feed formula for plants, which leads the way to reliable harvests.
5. Why does pure water matter?
Too much hardness, iron, manganese, lead, copper or boron in untreated source water can lead to lockout and deficiency problems. Chlorine and chloramines are always present in municipal water sources and effectively kill any beneficial living microbiology. Fecal coliform, herbicides, bacteria, pesticides, phosphates and nitrates are, unfortunately, all too common in a growing number of water sources. Getting a water test to determine what levels of these pollutants are present and installing a quality water treatment system is the professional standard for a competitive, successful cannabis cultivation operation.