Water Testing

Why Water Test?

As we enter the 21st century, we encounter difficulty in obtaining adequate irrigation water supply. Many water sources have an increasing salt content. Effluent water containing salts must be used. In other areas, the water levels of the underground aquifers are rapidly decreasing and governments are severely restricting the amount of water which may be withdrawn for irrigation. In still other areas, the quality of the underground aquifers is very poor resulting in the application of large amounts of salts. Use of less than ideal water quality requires a carefully designed fertility and water management program to optimize the use of water and minimize damage to soil and plants from excess salts in the water.

Most quality standards were developed many years ago when there was less knowledge and products available to help minimize the harmful effects of salts.  Today with proper testing to identify the salt cations and anions, better water management is possible.  Identifying the cations and anions is needed to properly manage water along with a soil analysis that identifies the 4 major salt cations. Couple water knowledge with proper testing of soils for soluble and extractible calcium along with the humus content, treatments can be made to minimize salt stress and optimize salt leaching.  In the short run we can get more benefit from even good quality water with proper soil, plant and water test information.  Balanced plant nutrition improves water use efficiency.  Benefits from an inch of water can be tripled with the proper balance of plant food.

Water delivery systems such as Drip, micro-jet, LEPA, center pivot, etc., have all made big improvements in recent years.  In most fields water can be the biggest limiting yield factor.  However, just applying water does not necessarily recoup the investment in irrigation equipment; balanced plant nutrients and all BMP are needed.

Getting the most benefit from water depends mainly upon adequate and balanced plant nutrition. Even without irrigation the most profitable yields depend upon adequate nutrition so each inch of water makes the optimum yield. Ask the Plant® Petiole (Stem) or Leaf Testing is the only way to determine if the plant has adequate nutrition at any and all stages of growth. It is then very profitable to inject into the water system the right plant food and other aids in the right amount at the right time to get the highest return on the investment in water and plant food. Many new products are now on the market that can make farming more profitable when used properly.

Water samples from irrigation systems should be taken from the active system to be sure the sample is free of stagnant water and is representative of the water actually being applied to the turf.

Clean glass or plastic water bottles (20 oz) make good sample containers.

If sampling a lake or pond, samples should be taken at several locations and at several depths if possible.

These should be combined and a sample of the composite should be sent for analysis.

TPS Lab also tests well water and drinking water for safety, health and peace of mind. We also test for the full spectrum of heavy metals, including Lead and Arsenic.

TPS Lab also tests water for City Municipalities and Water Companies, for independent auditing and verification.

Please contact us today at 956-383-0739 and speak with us about your needs.


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