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 Post subject: Brackish Water on Garden
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:51 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:53 pm
Posts: 14
Hey Howard, I got a question for you. I've tried it on other forums before and never managed to get a square answer.

I have a brackish water fish tank. It's very low salinity. The water has a specific gravity of 1.005, and is should be roughly 6.6 parts per thousand in salinity. If you taste it, I don't think you can even taste salt.

Anyway, currently when we do a water change on the tank, we just dump all the water down the toilet, unsure if it can be used on the garden/lawn in any way.

My thought is that with it being such low salinity already, if I dilute it further with rainwater, would it be safe enough for random use on the garden. To be more specific, by random I mean that I would maybe use 100 gallons of the water/month, and that's being really generous. My intent was to pump the water to a 330 gallon tote, where I would top off the tote with 230 gallons of rainwater, and then apply it to the garden. If this is done even once a month, is that too much salinity? I grow in raised beds, so the if it did deposit salts in the soil, it would at least leach down 9" into the clay just from gravity.

I'm somewhat aware of how ion exchange takes place in the soil, and if I'm correct, watering too often with "pure" water, can actually leach the soil of nutrients. If the water was salty could it potentially reduce the leaching effect of other mineral out of the soil. After all, it's all water soluble nutrients correct?

I'm just trying to find a use for this water. After going through the drought in Texas last summer, I just can't help but feel bad flushing 100 gallons of water down the toilet, if there is any other use I can get out of it.

I look forward to your response. I've found your website extremely helpful in my efforts towards a fully organic garden and lawn. I've been chemical free for a year now!

Tom Brueggen
Backyard Gardener Houston, TX

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 9:01 am
Posts: 961
Location: Dallas, TX
Using the brackish water without dilution probably wouldn't be a problem - especially in an organic program. The carbon and humic materials have great buffering powers. Diluting the water with rainwater would certainly make it useful.

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