Farm water supply investigation

A preliminary investigation was carried out on the quality of water in two dams on a dairy farm in West Gippsland. The dams are a short distance apart in the same gully. The Upper dam is spring fed and can overflow into the Lower dam. The water was tested during summer. At that time the… Continue reading Farm water supply investigation

Effluent management on a dairy farm

For the last few weeks I’ve been visiting a dairy farm in West Gippsland to learn a bit more about how dairy farms work. It’s also an opportunity to apply some ideas about soil and water management in a practical context. Cows can deposit around 8 – 10% of manure and urine output around the… Continue reading Effluent management on a dairy farm

My tank drinking water smells, what can I do?

One of the frequent problems seen in water tanks is smelly water. This can occur in above and below ground tanks and includes rain water tanks. People often describe the smell of their water as musty, decaying or like ammonia or rotten eggs. It can be just a little bit off-putting or in some cases… Continue reading My tank drinking water smells, what can I do?

Filters for farm water supplies.

Not all water quality problems for farm and rural drinking water can be solved by simple filters. However there is a lot that can be done to improve drinking water quality. Its often a matter of being proactive in case contamination occurs. Dual cartridge systems are easy to install and can often be fitted under… Continue reading Filters for farm water supplies.

Reducing water hardness by lime softening

Water hardness is caused by high calcium and magnesium levels. However a water test is needed to find out how much hardness is accounted for by bicarbonates, called temporary hardness and how much is composed of sulphates and chlorides (permanent hardness). For a discussion of alkalinity and hardness please see Water test interpretations. Lime softening… Continue reading Reducing water hardness by lime softening

Water pollution case study

Contamination of waters by organic matter including manures is a type of water pollution. Excessive organic matter load in water is likely to cause a number of changes including: Higher turbidity High decomposition rate leading to elevated carbon dioxide and lowered oxygen, Undesirable intermediate products of decompostion including nitrite and ammonia. Elevated nutrient levels Elevated… Continue reading Water pollution case study

Investigating water quality

Water quality standards like the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines often set the upper limit for contaminants like metals and organic chemicals. The Guidelines mention dozens if not hundreds of potential contaminants. But in many cases it is not clear at what level a particular chemical becomes a health hazard. For example it will depend on… Continue reading Investigating water quality

Water quality indicators

At Apps Laboratories we measure a range of factors in water samples.¬† Some like dissolved metals can be compared directly to the Australian Water Quality¬† Guidelines. Others like salinity indicate what the water can be used for for example depending on the salt tolerance of irrigated crops. More often we want to give the landowner… Continue reading Water quality indicators

ORP in water – what does it mean?

Recently a couple of bore water samples came through the lab. By coincidence although they came from very different locations they had some distinct similarities. These were elevated dissociated carbon dioxide, elevated soluble iron and elevated manganese. But they both had another similarity – low ORP or redox value. The sample with the highest metal… Continue reading ORP in water – what does it mean?

What’s in water?

Water testing is a little bit like problem solving. Most people want to know if there are any underlying issues that may affect their water quality. For example if there are higher than expected numbers of bacteria, if there are dissolved metals present or if there is any contamination from organic chemicals. Most test results… Continue reading What’s in water?