Part3Lecture2 - Water Quality Water quality is determined...

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6 Water Quality Water quality is determined by the types and concentration of chemical elements found in water that make it suitable or not suitable for irrigation of greenhouse crops. Understanding the importance of water quality is key to developing a root zone management program. Conserving and managing irrigation water and accounting for its nutrient content are becoming some of the most important responsibilities of greenhouse operators. Over the last 15 years, recognition of the importance of groundwater and the need to protect aquifers has added an environmental focus to these responsibilities. Greenhouse operators of the new millennium must be equally concerned about water quality as it relates to the environment as well as its relationship to plant nutrition. One of the first steps in selecting a site for plant production is to determine the potential sources of irrigation water. There are five main sources: Groundwater from wells Surface water Drainage ponds Rain Municipal water Greenhouse operators need to be aware of all the options available. Changing the water source may be a simple solution to water quality or quantity problems instead of implementing expensive water treatment. Groundwater from Wells Groundwater from wells was the water source for 50 percent of the greenhouses surveyed in a study done by The Ohio State University. Soil Zone Sand and Gravel Aquifer Limestone or Granite Aquifer Sandstone Aquifer Well #1 Well #2 Well #3
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7 Groundwater is made up of rain and other water applied to soils. The water drains through the soil profile until it reaches a depth where all soil pore spaces are filled. This saturated zone is called the water table or aquifer. Groundwater quality varies because of the parent material, usually rock, that makes up the saturated zone. In the Midwest, groundwater is often drawn from limestone aquifers. In the Southeastern and Northeastern United States, the groundwater is from granite aquifers. Groundwater can also come from sand and gravel, sandstone or coral aquifers. Even on the same site, the depth of the well can have an effect on water quality since well depth will determine the nature of the parent material from which the water is drawn. Elemental concentrations and bicarbonate levels can change with the seasons of the year and the amount of pumping from wells. Surface Waters Surface waters include creeks, streams, rivers and large lakes (greater than five acres). The quality of surface water varies. Like groundwater, flowing water can change in elemental content at different times of the year, primarily because of the amount of rainfall and the elements picked up from soils by runoff. It is also possible that surface waters can become contaminated with phytotoxic industrial
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Part3Lecture2 - Water Quality Water quality is determined...

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