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Re: Water Analysis - Texas

Roger Miller was kind (!) enough to render an opinion on my local water. He 
said, among other succinct comments,

> The sodium level is very high.  Coupled with the low calcium and
> magnesium, I imagine that you're plants are struggling.

Yes. Despite Calcium supplementation, R/O Right, and PMDD, the various swords 
and vals have not grown in 6 months. Watersprite and hair algae are growing 
very well.

> Gee.  Thallium.

Did you say that because thallium is dangerous? or odd? Or because, as was my 
first question, why would they report thallium and not potassium?

> The State of Texas' water quality lab is the only lab I've ever seen
> report "Dil. Conduct"ance.  I imagine they were the original source for
> this report.

Yes...it says Texas Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories on the 

> Given that pH, sodium and alkalinity are all high, I wonder if this water
> might have been treated with sodium carbonate to increase pH.

You were neither the first nor the last to suggest that. I once asked Bubba 
at the water company what he did to treat the water and he said it came 
straight from the ground and he only added chlorine. Of course, this is the 
same man to whom I had to explain "hardness" just one week prior. If I try to 
have a conversation with him about "ion exchange" I'm sure it will be a short 
one. I'm very grateful to the members of this digest because I don't exactly 
get a lot of local technical support.

> P.S.  I don't mind being asked to chime in, but I think that when you
> mention an individual who you would like to respond it might discourage
> others from answering the same question.

I wasn't too worried about THIS group of folks being shy.... :-) I mentioned 
you specifically because when we discussed this some time ago, you guessed 
that sodium might be a problem for me. Ain't it grand being right?

And then James Purchase said:

> I've just compared the numbers Cheryl posted with the results from the
> Toronto water and I have to say that I'll never complain about bad water
> again! While a lot of the metals listed as present are also in Toronto
> water, most are in much lower amounts here and the Carbonate/Bicarbonate
> ratio is much more "natural" (I've never been able to get a reading for P.
> alkalinity on the Toronto water supply using a Hach kit).

I'm not sure of the implications, but I tested a neighbor's well water and, 
as far as my handful of test kits indicate, everything is the same except the 
in the well water, KH was half that of the tap water. Is this proof that 
Bubba is adding carbonates/bicarbonates? Does the fact that we live on the 
shores of a freshwater lake mean anything?

Anyway, many, many thanks to Roger, Dave, James, and Christopher (who 
responded off-line). You have made me feel much better for two reasons. 
First, it's not my fault that I am a near failure as an aquatic gardener. And 
second, you have helped me to justify buying a new toy in the form of an R/O 

Cheryl Hofmann
Oak Point, TX   where it looks like we're in for another humdinger