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Filtration of Water for Fertigation

Reverse Osmosis Filtration for Cannabis Cultivation

  • Cultivators use RO water as a pure base to mix with their nutrients. Experienced growers using RO water know it’s necessary to first add the desired amount of plant-specific, bioavailable calcium/magnesium, then the chosen nutrient regimen in order to achieve optimal, consistent results and to avoid plant deficiencies. The correct mix of specialized nutrients and minerals is an essential component to ensure fast and healthy plant growth.
  • A majority of total dissolved solids (TDS) in untreated source water are made up of calcium and magnesium (also recognized as hardness), two beneficial minerals that are vital to the growth of plants. Although calcium and magnesium are necessary for plant growth, the calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate molecules typically found in source water are too large for plant roots to absorb efficiently. Therefore, these compounds need to be chelated (broken down) into a more usable form, requiring extra energy from the plants that would be better spent on reaching their full growth potential.
  • Adding chelated calcium and magnesium (as well as beneficial biologicals) to RO water is the most efficient and measurable way to give plants what they need to thrive.

Do RO systems waste much water?

  • All RO machines have a feed water inlet, a purified product water stream, and a waste water stream. The RO membrane acts as a barrier to all dissolved salts, minerals, inorganic and most organic molecules. Pure water molecules pass freely through the membrane, creating purified product water (or permeate stream). The rejected contaminants are concentrated in the waste water (also referred to as the RO concentrate).
  • While it is true that all RO systems have a certain amount of waste water, the technology has evolved greatly through the years, and today there are ultra-efficient RO filters capable of producing up to a 4:1 ratio of product water to waste water. Historically, that ratio had been reversed: one part product to four parts waste.
  • Commercial RO is also integral to reclamation systems that recycle nutrient runoff water. As volume usage limitations and waste water regulations become more rigid, a sustainable water treatment plan is becoming an increasingly important part of a professional cultivation operation’s initial design. These regulations are imminent and it’s crucial for business owners to be aware of these new laws and have a plan of action to be legally compliant.

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