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Re: Peat softening water

> From: "Ron Barter" <mistnfrost at perth_igs.net>
>  Subject: Peat softening water
>  Can anyone tell me, in relatively simple terms, how filtering water in peat
>  moss lowers the hardness of the water?  It's fairly obvious to me that the
>  addition of humic acid from the peat would lower the pH, but how is it
>  effecting the change in the hardness? My only guess is that it acts as some
>  sort of a natural ion exchange resin, but I'm only guessing.  And will
>  running the amber coloured result of the process through carbon make the
>  water clear afterwards? 

Calcium and magnesium combine with organic complexes from the peat and
are removed from solution. They are chemically integrated into the
organic material of the peat. These ions have a high chemical affinity,
or bonding energy and will replace more soluble ions such as sodium,
which may be combined in those locations.

Some of the calcium and magnesium is combined with the humins dissolved
in the water; they are still "in solution" but not as free ions.
Activated carbon filtration (if used sufficiently) will remove the
yellow/brown color of the water. There are so many different kinds of
organic complexes that they defy chemical analysis to completely
identify them all.

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!