Overly-treated water in New Orleans

Jocelyn WrightNovember 9, 2005

I have a balcony/container garden in New Orleans. After 2 months of neglect, most things appear dead. My lemon, lime, kumquat and fig trees might have made it, but I'm very reluctant to water them with super-chlorinated and treated water.

Will such treated water kill my plants? Will it render the fruits unpalatable, or possibly toxic?

I had an organic thing going on, but am very unsure of how the water treatment is going to affect it. I wouldn't drink the water coming out of my tap... would I eat a fig watered with the same water? Basil? a Tomato? Parsley?

I plan on starting a bunch of herbs and veggies soon, and am very concerned about the water. Am I being neurotic?

Thanks for any advice you can send my way... :)

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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

If you fill buckets with the water and let it stand uncovered for 24 hours, the chlorine will evaporate out and it will be safe to water the plants with it.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 1:11PM
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The suggestion above is correct about the chlorination but maybe leaving out even longer wouldn't hurt!

We used to live in New Orleans and a good friend called to let us know who/what all was still there. When I asked about visiting, she told me not to for about a year because the devastation to everything is heartbreaking.
The losses in City Park alone...

Back to the question!
IF you can get water from anywhere else, such as in gallon jugs at the grocery, then use them instead. The water sold by Walmart is bottled in Texas. Personally, I would only use that water on edibles but that may be too much of a luxury at this point. If you are terribly concerned, figure out what you absolutely must have and pamper it to the best of your ability. A family heirloom or essential herb may justify bottled water and the others can use the municipal water after it has sat out a while.

If you need seed or starts, email me. There are several of us on the Texas Forum that have already been stashing goodies for gardeners in the areas hit by Katrina.
Best wishes,

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 6:12PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

I'm not sure chlorine would be the only problem. Since you are at least somewhat organic, how about setting up a tub or something and making compost tea? Get an aquarium pump and an airstone at the fish shop, and while you're there get some of the stuff they use to treat water to make it safe for fish. The combination should be great for your plants. Might not even need much compost--aerating the water should really help. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 12:10AM
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go to Petsmart and get the declorinator for fish ponds its instantly done safe for the plants but I agree no edibles should be consumed from that araea

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 2:43PM
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Knowing the history of New Orleans tap water, in some ways this conversation is humerous. Regardless I have several plants currently in the care of a friend in the museum district being watered with tap water. They are doing great. If you were using tap water before I would say do it now. Letting it sit overnight for the chlorine to dissapate is always a good idea.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 11:06PM
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Guess you are ok down there?

I am still in the middle of a house and yard repair mess.

I have to paint today in 30-40 degree weather.
But I am still BLESSED....I heard yesterday people are still in TENTS on the coast....it is COLD out there!

Back on topic...I always have a trash can where I can get roof rain water run off and I use rain water for all my plants and the fish tanks

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 10:41AM
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