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I called my water company (NJ American Water) today to find out more
details than are available in the water quality report they mail every
year. The nice lady on the phone finally realized she couldn't answer my
questions and she had the water quality superintendent give me a call.
Unfortunately, I was out but he left a message.
He said that my water should have:
Nitrate: < 0.28 mg/l
Iron: < 0.1 mg/l
Zinc orthophosphate: they maintain a level around 0.45 mg/l (measured as
I did an archive search on "orthophosphate" and came up with this
reference from 1996:
" Yes, water systems do add orthophosphate to control
corrosion in the water system. Yes, the phosphate will
'tie-up' the iron fertilizer and make it useless. The more
major problem from the phosphate is that algae loves
phosphate and will grow like crazy. Even at the low levels
used by water systems of 2mg/l (ppm).
Some water systems use Zinc Orthophosphate which will
increase the amount of zinc ions in the water. Zinc is more
of a problem in salt water aquaria."
So, I guess I have two questions. Is it true that the orthophosphate
ties up the iron? And do I have to worry about that at the level that is
in my water?
I'm having a nasty green water problem in my 38 gallon (finally ordered
a diatom filter) and I'm trying to figure out what is going on.