Water municipal communities or well owners add chlorine and chloramine as a disinfectant used to kill microbes. However, when this chemical-concentrated water is watered to plants, its exposure can harm them. If you love gardening or are a plant enthusiast, you might be concerned about plant health, and definitely you should be!
Chlorine and chloramines can be removed naturally by sunlight exposure, evaporation, and the use of chemicals. Additionally, you can also dechlorinate the water using filtration systems such as reverse osmosis, activated carbon, and distillation.
In this article, we have discussed natural and filtration methods by which we can remove chlorine from water.
- How do Chlorine and Chloramine Water Get into Plants?
- Is Chlorinated Water Bad For Plants?
- How to Remove Chlorine From Water Naturally
- How to Dechlorinate Tap Water for Plants
How do Chlorine and Chloramine Water Get into Plants?
Before going into the deep discussion about getting rid of chlorinated water, let’s see where chlorine and chloramine enter the water.
Chlorine can be added in filtered water through gaseous chlorine, liquid sodium hypochlorite, or solid calcium hypochlorite to kill e-coli, coliform, and various other bacteria and viruses. Additionally, people also use chlorine tablets to clean swimming pools, hot tubs, etc.
However, when you use this chlorinated water for watering plants, the high chlorine level can affect their growth.
Is Chlorinated Water Bad For Plants?
It is important to know chlorine and chloramine are disinfectants used in drinking water. However, various plants are sensitive and can be damaged after their absorption.
Plants like trees, shrubs, and perennial flowers can absorb chlorinated water, and there is less or no sign on them of absorbing chlorine. At the same time, mature plants are said to absorb more chlorine because of larger roots.
Plants that are grown indoors, like in containers or aquatic plants, these plants can tolerate 4-7 mg of chlorine in water. More than these levels, your plant can have various negative effects, such as
- Leaf burn
- Dying of leaf tissue
- Yellowing of the leaf
- Stunted growth
- Reduction in fruit or flower growth
- Root damage
Plants that grow in rough and dry weather, like succulents and cacti, are said to be more chlorine absorbents, and these plants can absorb almost 15-50mg of chlorinated water.
How to Remove Chlorine From Water Naturally
Here are some easy and budget-friendly ways to dechlorinate water for plants so that the chlorine doesn’t harm the plants, soil, and fruits you’re growing.
1. Using Sunlight
For dechlorinating water, you can use a simple step by putting water in a bucket, container, or tub that you use for watering plants. Keep it under the sun where sunlight is directly touching or in contact with the water. This way, the sun will evaporate the water along with chlorine and its smell.
The process of evaporation is also called off-gassing, which takes almost 12-24 hours to evaporate chlorine from water completely. However, this process may not clean high concentrations of chlorine from water completely. In this scenario, you may need to leave water in sunlight for at least 2-3 days.
It is important to know that sunlight only evaporates gaseous chlorine completely, whereas liquid chlorine can be removed to some extent. If you have added solid chlorine in the form of tablets or powder in water, then this option might not be suitable for you.
2. Boiling and Evaporation of Water
The evaporation after boiling is a more effective way than sunlight to dechlorinate tap water. Ensure to boil the water for 15-20 mins and let it evaporate properly, even if no bleaching smell is left behind.
When the water comes to our taps through filtration, it may remove harmful and larger substances like giardia and cryptosporidium, parasitic worms present. Still, it couldn’t clean every nutrient like chlorine, fluorine, bacteria, and viral species.
All these bacteria do not evaporate soon after boiling, but once water is left for gassing-off, it takes away these bacteria alone.
3. Using Dechlorinating Chemicals
If using sunlight or the boiling process is not feasible for you, here is another solution that is using dechlorinating chemicals. Chemicals such as Sodium Thiosulfate and Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) that are present in the form of crystals, tablets, and powder are cheaper and more effective chemicals to dechlorinate water.
These chemicals are safe when used with proper guidance according to the instructions labeled on the products.
How to Dechlorinate Tap Water for Plants
You can use natural steps to dechlorinate tap water for plants, but if you’re looking for a quick and more effective way, then here are ways you can dechlorinate tap water for plants.
1. Using RO Filters
RO filters help in dechlorinating water through the filtration process. The water coming directly from the tap pushes itself to the membrane of the RO filter, where chlorine is separated from the water. Chlorine in any form, either solid, liquid, or gas, is removed using this method.
However, using an RO filter is the best option for dechlorinating water. It may be a little expensive compared to other natural methods. RO filters are available in different sizes and shapes so that you can buy them according to your budget.
2. Activated Carbon Filters
Another way to dechlorinate water through a filter is using activated carbon. These filters have very tiny pores available on the membrane of the filter where carbon molecules are present.
These carbon molecules attract the molecules of chlorine, fluoride, and various other impurities that stick to that filter, and the rest of the water is passed by.
Moreover, if your main purpose is to clean chlorine and chloramine, then activated carbon filters are the best fit and are less expensive. However, if your water contains other contaminants, then installing an RO filter according to your budget is recommended.
3. Using Distillation Filters
Distillation filters are those filters that boil water to a level of up to 100 degrees Celsius, which is 212 degrees Fahrenheit. These filters use electricity to heat water and evaporate the chlorine and chloramine present in water. Some filters also have cooling fans installed in them, which keeps water clean and cool.
These filters can remove dissolved solids, bacteria and viruses, VOCs, heavy metals, chlorine, and chlorine up to 99.99%.
Drinking water that is distilled is healthier than drinking tap water because you’re not sure if the water contains harmful contaminants. However, buying distillation filters may cost a bit, but they are really helpful in the long run as you don’t have to purchase filtered water.
Chlorinated water used in watering plants may result in high risks of plant discoloration, roots, and fruit damage, which also affects the growth of the plant. Suppose you face high chlorine issues in tap water that might be affecting your plant badly. In that case, you are suggested to use reverse osmosis, distillation, or other natural methods to remove chlorine.