I’ve been getting RO from the machine at walmart using 2x 18.9L refillable jugs:
- It’s been coming in around 8-12 PPM (17-25 µs/cm) with PH of 6.3-6.6, it’s always slightly different.
- The same machine was used (weeks apart), used about 80L from this source so far (4x 18L bottles total across 3 trips).
- Here’s the product itself: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Primo-Self-Service-Refill-Water/151610983 (it’s about $2.39 for 18.9L at my local store).
- I haven’t been able to find anywhere else to actually refill the jugs, and no other stores that claim it’s reverse osmosis water (just jugs of distilled).
I’ve been getting distilled water from the same walmart, and from grocery stores in 4L bottles:
- It’s been consistently coming in at 0 PPM (0 µs/cm) with a PH of 5.7
- The same PH/PPM was observed across samples from 3 different brands from different stores, used approx 24-30x 4L bottles.
The probes have been checked and calibrated and are at a very low error threshold (within or less than 0.1%), so I do trust the data. Each reading was checked and re-checked with attention to avoiding cross-contamination; when this did occur it was noticed.
Took a quick look under the microscope, somewhere around 60x magnification:
- In other parts of the sample there were many of the “rainbow drops” seen like that one just above the center in this pic.
- That’s interesting to note because none were observed in the other water.
- The edges (or “lines”) also appear to be allowing a fuller spectrum of color through, some appear blue or purple or even red.
- There is just so much blue here!
- One thing that caught my eye was how at the edge in some areas there appeared to be some sort of clumps, one is visible at the top of a drop just below the center in this pic.
Ignore the ripple-looking circle as well as the freckle-looking specs that are slightly out of focus in those pics, that’s not part of the water sample. This isn’t the most expensive unit around but it works for the kids’ needs. In this case the intent was just to compare the two and get a closer look at what I’ve been feeding my plants.
Any ideas what that might be in the RO water? If it were chlorine I’d expect it to have done a better job at helping to stave off root rot.
This discovery is enough to cause me to stop using it, especially considering the fact that the distilled water from multiple random stores has been consistent in terms of PH/EC. On top of that, my grow (when using distilled water) was fairly successful even though I was having issues with nutes dispensing due to my unit overheating and shutting down at the most inopportune of times. Things really started to go south when this RO water was introduced; so a word of caution when recommending people switch their water!!