Awesome Quality Cannabis Begins With Clean Water!
Controlling the environment is important for growers who are serious about high quality cannabis. High quality cannabis is clean of non-cannabis elements, and has maximum terpene and cannabinoid levels.
It smokes smooth, at a cool temperature and full of complex flavor and aroma. It's like inhaling a fabulous dessert. Controlling the water quality is just as important as controlling the light, air flow, humidity levels, temperature, and a balanced nutrient mix. Many growers put a lot of effort in creating the right environment, then use unclean water.
Why does it really matter anyway?? Keep reading to see how clean water can get you one shelf higher in quality.
Why is Clean Water So Important With Cannabis?
Phytoremediation - (Fie-doh-ree-mee-dee-ay-shun
Phytoremediation is the number one reason I recommend clean water. According to Wikipedia, it refers to technologies using plants to clean soil, air, and water of hazardous contaminates. Cannabis/Hemp is used to remove unwanted toxins like dioxin from farmland, heavy metals, radioactive material, selenium, and a wide range of other chemicals from contaminated soil. The cannabis plant is very good at absorbing things available in excess in the root zone.
IIIt's In There!
At harvest time, these absorbed excesses are still available in the plant. The cannabis is cut down, and the contaminated plants are disposed of more appropriately. Even flushing and fading will not remove the unused elements once they are stored. Whether it is from overfeeding, or non-clean water, the flowers end up lower quality.
Having clean water means no unwanted additives or elements in the flower at harvest time.
Effect on pH
When a full and healthy pH swing is available in the root zone, less nutrients are required to get the same healthy, fast growing/flowering plant, with better quality flowers. Nutrients and pH buffers should already be set up in your root zone, and adding your water should not change this.
Clean water supports a healthy pH swing, any one who has read my book understands how important a healthy pH swing is to getting high quality flowers. When clean water is used to grow cannabis, the pH swing is not affected by unwanted elements.
As stated before, many serious growers take the time to find the perfect balance of nutrients/amendments for plants, only to use water that has unwanted elements. Sure, the water supply may have calcium in it. Sometimes it is calcium plants can use, other times it isn't. Most times it's a combination of both. Excess elements from unclean water will stress the plant, reducing terpene/cannabinoid production and (if large enough of a problem) will affect growth.
Clean water is free of unnecessary and unusable elements that cause the cannabis to burn hot and harsh. When water has excess elements, or elements the plant does not need, the result is contaminated flower. It burns hot, is often harsh on the throat, and even sparks when smoked. Cannabis smoke should be soft, cool, and saturated with delicious aromas and never harsh, or spark when smoked.
Ease of Use
Few unfiltered water supplies will contain all usable elements. Many water supplies are not consistent from year to year, or have the same element content and makeup all year round. It can even be difficult to move locations and get the exact same water supply. The elements in any given water supply can possibly change your pH buffering, cause algae/bacterial issues and more. Using clean water eliminates this problem.
When growing for excellent quality, using clean water is a MUST!
My Preferred "Clean" Water is Reverse Osmosis Filtered
I've been growing cannabis indoor for over 15 years now. I've used r/o filtered water the entire time, and strongly recommend it for the reasons I previously listed. Time after time, the results are predicatable and delicious.
I Use the Stealth RO-100 from Hydro Logic
My mother actually bought it for my cannabis garden years ago in 2010, and I've been using it ever since. Previously, I was paying $0.59/gal at the local market for r/o water. Ouch!!
Hydro Logic discontinued the Stealth-RO 100, and now offer the Stealth-RO 150 as the upgraded replacement. At 80psi of water pressure, it will produce up to 150 gallons of clean water a day.
You will want to think about where to place it, and how to manage the so-called 'waste' water. In my experience, the water is only 'wasted' when it's flushed down a drain. The 'waste' from most water supplies are perfectly fine for gardens, lawns, trees and more.
R/O Machine Accessories Suggestions
Over the years, I've come across a few things which make using r/o simple and hassle free.
Need to Tap a Cold Water Line?
Use an Ice-maker/Water-Filter Line Tapping Kit
When you do not have a faucet near your filter location, tapping a nearby water line is a simple and reliable method. Under the kitchen sink, in the hot water closet, even a bathroom sink cold water line.
A 2-Way Splitter Adds 1 Cold Water Faucet
The first place I installed my r/o filter was in the laundry room. This little Plastic 2-way splitter was perfect for using the same cold water faucet as the washer. The mini-valves also allow adjusting pressure to the filter. I currently live in an area with 100+psi water pressure, and being able to adjust pressure keeps my unit from damage.
Automatic Shut-Off Float Valve
No need to worry about over flowing your reservoir. With the Hydro Logic Float Valve Auto-Shutoff installed, you can turn on your Stealth-RO 150 on and walk away. When the water level reaches the float valve, the flow of water is automatically stopped.
Booster Pump Fix for Low Water Pressure
Water pressure below 40psi? A booster pump will increase water pressure up to 80psi, speed up filtration and increase water quality. Designed for r/o filtration units, this Watts Booster Pump will automatically shut off when your reservoir float valve closes.
Need to Do Large Volume Change Outs?
You want a storage container! I picked up a 55 gallon food grade drum like this one and installed my float valve in it. Look around, you may be able to find one locally. Mine originally had very strong hydrogen peroxide in it. ;)
Pump the Water Where You Need It!
Once you have the water in the drum, a submersible pump and 100' of hose will get water to almost every place you could want. A HydroFarm 400gph Magnetic Drive, Submersible Pump has a 6' cord, so you can drop it in the bottom of your storage tank and still have enough cord to reach the outlet. ;)
HydroFarm 1/4" Hose
100' of HydroFarm 1/4" Hose will reach most places you need. Need more? They have larger rolls available. As always, check locally for the best deal. :D
Clean Water Cannabis is Right Around Your Corner
Can't wait for your r/o unit to arrive? Need to save up a bit first? Check around locally, you may be able to find an r/o vending machine or a water store. Make sure to use machines from reputable companies, the water should be less than 14ppm and a pH of 7.