Gerry Collins & Sal Collins
New South Wales
to compare the effects of four different water treatment methods on plant yield in terms of germination success rate and mass upon harvesting.
Materials and Methods :
Collection and storage of water samples derived by four water treatment methods
Four different water treatment methods of municipal mains water were selected for comparison in Toronto, New South Wales, Australia. Municipal mains water is supplied by Hunter Water Corporation, 36 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300 Australia.
The municipal mains water pressure for the duration of the experiment varied between 70 pounds per square inch (psi) and 110 psi.
On the property, municipal mains water is first passed through a pressure limiting valve (Photograph 1) which reduces the mains water pressure to 350 kilopascals (approximately 51 psi) and subsequently through two 5-micron filters placed in series (Photograph 2).
For this study, water samples collected directly after the second 5-micron filter (without further treatment) were termed “Town Water” (Photograph 3). Containers which received Town Water are labelled “①” in photographs.
Further water treatment of Town Water by three different methods produced three more types of water samples for comparison (Table 1).
The Super Imploder is manufactured by Fractal Water, Connecticut, USA. One Super Imploder was connected in series directly after the second 5-micron filter. Water samples collected after the Super Imploder were termed “Super Imploded Water” (Photograph 4). Containers which received Super Imploded Water are labelled “②” in photographs.
Two Super Imploders were connected in series directly after the second 5-micron filter. Water samples collected after the two Super Imploders were termed “Twice Super Imploded Water” (Photographs 5). Containers which received Twice Super Imploded Water are labelled “③” in photographs.
The Grander domestic mains water in-line water revitaliser is manufactured by Innutec GmbH, Jochberg in Tyrol, Austria. The Grander domestic mains water in-line water revitaliser was connected in series directly after the second 5-micron filter. Water samples collected after the Grander domestic mains water in-line water revitaliser were termed “Grander Water” (Photograph 6). Containers which received Grander Water are labelled “④” in photographs.
|Water treatment method||Description of treated water||Label of treated water(as seen in photographs)|
|Super Imploder||Super Imploded Water||②|
|two Super Imploders set in series||Twice Super Imploded Water||③|
|Grander domestic mains water in-line water revitaliser||Grander Water||④|
The study commenced on 21 July 2014 (Day 1) and completed on 26 October 2014 (Day 98).
On Day 1, a 20 litre water sample of each of the four water treatment methods was collected in a respectively labelled 20 litre plastic storage water bottle (Photographs 3, 4, 5 and 6). The four 20 litre plastic storage water bottles were stored 3 metres apart from each other for the duration of the experiment.
Once collected all water samples used in this experiment were kept free of direct contact with any metal.
All white hose and all light blue hose seen in the photographs are drinking quality water hose.
Selection of seed type
Pak choi seeds were selected for this study (Table 2).
|Pak choi seeds|
|Botanical nameBrandProducerSow Before Date||Brassica rapa var. chinensisMr. Fothergill’sMr. Fothergill’s Seeds Pty Ltd.,15B Walker Street,
South Windsor, New South Wales 2756
Pak choi is also sometimes known as pak choy, buk choi, buk choy, bok choi, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, spoon cabbage, Chinese chard, Chinese mustard, celery mustard and field mustard.
Preparation of the growing medium in pots
Eight like plastic pot and saucer sets were used in this study.
Each pot was filled with a 2 cm surface layer of seed raising mix on top of a premium potting mix. The two layers in each pot were then lightly condensed. The products chosen were Yates Seed Raising Mix and Yates Premium Potting Mix (Yates Australia, 1 Gow Street, Padstow, New South Wales 2211, Australia).
Labelling of pots
Two pots received only Town Water for the duration of the experiment and were labelled “① 1” and “① 2”.
Two pots received only Super Imploded Water for the duration of the experiment and were labelled “② 1” and “② 2”.
Two pots received only Twice Super Imploded Water for the duration of the experiment and were labelled “③ 1” and “③ 2”.
Two pots received only Grander Water for the duration of the experiment and were labelled “④ 1” and “④ 2”.
Sowing of seeds
On Day 1, two Pak choi seeds were sown into each pot’s layer of seed raising mix. The eight pots (Photograph 7) were kept in a greenhouse with minimal exposure to insects and without exposure to rain for the duration of the experiment.
Delivery of water samples to the pots
Four jugs were individually labelled, one for each of the four water treatment methods (Photograph 8).
The dedicated jugs were used to transfer water periodically from the four 20 litre plastic storage water bottles to the pots and saucers.
On Day 1 each pot was saturated with its designated water type until water overflowed its saucer.
The soil in each pot was kept moist throughout the duration of the experiment by over-filling the saucers of all eight pots just prior to any saucer becoming completely dry.
Photographs were taken on Day 21 (Photographs 9, 10 and 11).
Two seedlings have emerged in each of pots ① 2, ② 1, ② 2, ③ 1, ③ 2 and ④ 1.
Photographs were taken on Day 35 (Photographs 12, 13 and 14).
Photographs were taken on Day 49 (Photographs 15, 16 and 17).
Photographs were taken on Day 63 (Photographs 18, 19 and 20).
Photographs were taken on Day 98 (Photographs 21, 22 and 23).
By Day 98 two plants had appeared in each of pots ① 2, ② 1, ② 2, ③ 1, ③ 2 and ④ 1 and one plant had appeared in each of pots ① 1 and ④ 2.
1. Of the 16 seeds sown on Day 1 of this study, 14 seeds had germinated by Day 98.
The seed germination rates associated with the use of Town Water, Super Imploded Water, Twice Super Imploded Water and Grander Water were respectively, 75%, 100%, 100% and 75%. Seed germination rates for each of the four different water treatment methods are shown in Table 3.
|Description oftreated water||Number of seeds which were sown on Day 1||Number of seeds which germinated by Day 98||Percentage of seeds which germinated by Day 98|
|Super Imploded Water||4||4||100|
|Twice Super Imploded Water||4||4||100|
2. On Day 98, each of the 14 mature plants was harvested and its above-ground mass immediately recorded.
The mass of each plant immediately after harvesting is given in Table 4 and does not include its root mass.
|Label of pot||Number of plants||Mass of first plant (grams)||Mass of second plant (grams)|
|① 1||1||99||not applicable|
|④ 2||1||126||not applicable|
3. Average mass of plants for each of the four different water treatment methods is given in Table 5.
The average masses of plants grown using Town Water, Super Imploded Water, Twice Super Imploded Water and Grander Water were respectively 109.7 grams, 148.8 grams, 154.5 grams and 124.7 grams.
The percentage increases in the average masses of plants grown using Super Imploded Water, Twice Super Imploded Water and Grander Water compared to the average mass of plants grown using Town Water are expressed as Additional plant yield in Table 5.
|Description oftreated water||Total number of plants||Total mass of plants (grams)||Average mass of plants (grams)||Additional plant yield (%)|
|Town Water||3||329||109.7||not applicable|
|Super Imploded Water||4||595||148.8||35.6|
|Twice Super Imploded Water||4||618||154.5||40.8|
In this study, higher seed germination rates were associated with the use of both Super Imploded Water and Twice Super Imploded Water than with Town Water and Grander Water.
Further, average plant mass at harvesting was highest for plants grown using Twice Super Imploded Water, followed by plants grown using Super Imploded Water, followed by plants grown using Grander Water, followed by plants grown using Town Water.