Sep 14, 2007

Is Microwaved Water Safe?

A good question, I thought. I have been bothered by this thought since seeing this website. Basically, a school student fed two plants some water - one with water which had been microwaved and one with water that had been boiled on the stove. Both lots of water were cool before she watered the plants. After being watered like this for a couple of weeks, the 'microwave water' plant died.

Yep, died.

Now a plant can die for all sorts of reasons, so before abandoning my beloved microwave I have decided to check it out myself. I figure that with my (somewhat rusty) background in scientific endeavour (I have an MSc) I should be able to design an experiment that will at least indicate whether there is any difference between microwaved water and other water. Personally I hope not, because I love my microwave for defrosting stuff, and reheating stuff, and melting stuff... And the husband in the family loves to make our daily porridge in it.

So. The basic plan is;

Plants watered with differently treated water will thrive, regardless of the treatment that the water has received.

1 new packet of Mesclun Mix seeds
4 plant pottles with separate drip trays, all washed and rinsed in municipal supply water
1 new bag of 'seed raising' potting mix
municipal supply water
stainless steel kettle
pyrex jug
'microwave safe' plastic container

OK, I'm still thinking about this, but I'll probably grow all the seeds to the first true leaf stage on normal tap water and then change their water supply. The four groups will be 'normal' (unheated) water, water microwave boiled then cooled in a 'microwave safe' plastic takeaways container, water microwave boiled then cooled in a pyrex jug, and water boiled then cooled in an ordinary stainless steel electric jug (element concealed, as it happens).

It's spring in this part of the world, so just the right time for sprouting seeds and all that fun stuff

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