Friday, September 7, 2018

Oxygen in Water - why it is important, but mostly lacking

If there was no longer any oxygen in our air, where would we be? 
Obviously very dead, because we are not designed to live without oxygen in the air we breathe. Well guess what! Oxygen in water is important as well. It is beneficial for humans and stock – directly and indirectly. It is especially important for health and growth of plants. Why do plants grow far better after a rain, than after periods of irrigation? Because sadly most of our water supplies are depleted of oxygen, while rain is rich in it.

Apart from various dissolved compounds and chemicals, dissolved oxygen makes a significant difference to water. 

Bore/well water, as well as most other water supplies are usually depleted of dissolved oxygen. That is one of the reasons iron bacteria can flourish in bores/wells, among other anaerobic bacteria and they are not good for us, for plants or the equipment to get the water to up from below ground. 

Studies have shown, that water poor in DO (dissolved Oxygen) will take away oxygen from plants through the root system as well as deplete soil oxygen, both of which are needed for a healthy plant and a heathy soil bacterial flora.  Water does this in order to return to a balanced oxygen state.

Insufficient water DO can lead to other problems as well. For instance Nematodes prefer oxygen poor soils and irrigating plants with water poor in DO will allow them to come near the surface where they can easily damage plant roots.

Past research has shown that reducing the concentration of DO in the root zone of plants will compromise the plants’ ability to absorb nitrate and water
. Research has also demonstrated that roots are injured by Odeficiency and that plant metabolism changes during acclimation to low concentrations of O2. Oxygen deprivation in plants is called internal anoxia and one of its results is sucrose degradation whereby the plant goes into an energy-conserving pathway to compensate for the lack of oxygen. So basically the lack of soil DO is a problem that keeps compounding the longer it lasts.

There are number of ways to fix this, but you may or may not know - that if using bore/well water – the Brumby Pump aerates your water significantly via its vortex action, adding oxygen to the water. This action helps bring the water back to life.

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