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[–] we_kill_creativity 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

Could all of this have an effect on plants too? I ask, because of an experience I had switching watering our rather large garden with well water instead of city water. There was a drought for awhile, so my dad started needing to water all their plants or they would die. At first they used city water, ok, whatever. Then the drought was bad enough that you couldn't get caught using city water to water gardens, or we were rationed...something to do with the drought, but my dad ended up just using the well was a source of water. Not only did his plants not die, but they thrived... like, stunningly better with well water. We now use well water for our coffee and cooking. I'm trying to get them to just run the house off it so they don't have a water bill. Is it just the lack of chemicals that makes it so much better?

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[–] qwop 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

There could be a lot of factors at play with your garden, but Mike Adams has been testing drinking water for free for consumers for a while now (EPAWatch.org), and he keeps finding heavy metal contamination all over the US. Therefore if you're using unfiltered city water it seems that you are playing water lottery. In addition to fluoride, which binds aggressively to calcium both in soil and in humans, there doesn't seem to be any guarantee that the water will be free of any other contaminants either.

So could it be the contaminants in city water? Yes, it could be. Could it be the well water is hard water (water containing high amounts of minerals, which plants like)? Yes, it could be that too. It could be both.

You can buy a water TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter of eBay for a few bucks. That will give you some idea of the mineral content of your well water, if you want to go slightly more scientific on it.

Good pure spring water will have a TDS below 10. That's almost like distilled water. Well water can have anything above 100 up to 1000 even. City water usually hovers around 100. The higher the TDS of the water, the more minerals it contains.

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[–] hsjdlKSJADHLK2777 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Chlorine is probably the biggest problem when it comes to gardening. Tap water has chlorine in it. Plants rely and bacteria/fungus to digest the nutrients in the soil and pass it on to their roots. Chlorine kills a large percentage of this microbiology.