Water that’s rid of harmful waste, chemicals and excessive salt is crucial for healthy crops. Many unknown factors can alter the purity of your water and kill crops, as well as damage irrigation systems.
The water profile is important to identify conditions or elements existing in the water that may damage or kill plants such as excessive salts and boron. It’s common to find salt in soil, however large quantities can end up poisoning plants. When large amounts of salt are absorbed by plants it eventually prevents osmosis, causes dehydration and kills the plant. When testing water, professionals are aware of the prescribed level of salt within soil.
Additionally, dissolved elements in the water can damage irrigation systems and clog emitters. Typical tests for agriculture irrigation water supplies include: pH, specific conductance, total dissolved solids, iron, manganese, boron, sodium, calcium, magnesium, total alkalinity, sodium absorption ratio, and calculated hardness.
Agriculture may be subject to surface water monitoring requirements and monitoring the condition of ponds subject to discharge in streams or other surface water. Essentially, water monitoring and discharge requirements mandate that any water discharged into ground water and surface water systems be essentially pure and free from chemicals and additives resulting from the use of the water. Testing requirements are varied by locale but often include total and fecal coliform, pH, total suspended solids, biologic oxygen demand, total nitrogen, total organic carbon, and others as required by regulation.