Tapwater: fit for the pond?

safe to drink but not clean enough for the pond

Tap water: safe to drink but not clean enough for the pond

I checked for a Cambridge resident today whether the tap water they added to their garden pond might be polluted.

Like much tapwater it had a nitrate concentration about 10 times the natural level – nitrate is a fertiliser that stimulates plant growth and when there’s such unaturally high concentrations in water it usually leads to problems.

Commonest of these is excessive growths of algae, especially blanketweed.

I would avoid using water as polluted as this in a garden pond – clean water is vital for wildlife ponds, and the best place to get that clean water is from the rain (although even rainwater isn’t always perfect).

Its also worth saying that not all tapwater is unsuitable for ponds – it’s usually worse further south and east in Britain. You can check with the water companies to be certain.

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