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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: dean on May 01, 2011, 01:02:41 PM

Title: Weed and Feed?
Post by: dean on May 01, 2011, 01:02:41 PM
Weed and feed, pre-emergence, post emergence, etc. etc.

I was watching a commercial recently about one of these chemicals and it made me wonder how much of it gets put into our groudwater and eventually ends up in our drinking water unless you drink distilled water.  I've been lucky or unlucky enough to see how much water has changed over the last fifty years, its pretty amazing really... water that once used to be pristene(sp?) now has to be tested.  There is water that you can now... feel (slick) as well as smell and taste... now that is disgusting.  I think it was last year that I saw some news footage or something filmed over in the UK, it was talking about how everyday people contributed more chemicals and toxins to the water supply than farmers that use chemicals to treat their land.  It seems the average person or household overtreats perhaps?  I dunno but the commercial made me want to run out and buy some weed preventer at first... thats when I thought otherwise...

Has the water changed any in your area?  Any suspected causes?  I'm pretty lucky so far, my water appears to be good its been tested, but I've seen water about 18 miles from here that I wouldn't drink... coming out of someone's well... yeck.  They're not far from an capped landfill.   
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: Hokerer on May 01, 2011, 01:28:56 PM
The biggest problems around here aren't so much the chemicals as it is the nutrient load.  All the excess nitrogen from farm fields, sewage treatment plants, and, unfortunately most of all, overfertilized lawns runs off to streams, rivers, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay which is dying from the overload.  They've got the farms and sewage under pretty good control but they don't do anything about lawns.  Personally, it wouldn't bother me one bit if they just outlawed all the chemical fertilizers and such.  Nobody needs "perfect" or "better than the Jones's" lawns.
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: dean on May 01, 2011, 01:33:56 PM
Yeh, same here in regards to the bagged fertilizers... they make it too convenient for the everyday person imo.  I have lots and lots of ferns growing in my yard... I just mow them with the grass and they are gradually going away.  I'll probably mow even less this year considering the price of gas...  :o
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: denny on May 01, 2011, 01:56:53 PM
My well is as pristine as ever.
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: dean on May 01, 2011, 01:59:56 PM
My well is as pristine as ever.

ah.... you're just bragging cause you knew how to spell "pristine".   ;D   ;)
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: gmac on May 01, 2011, 03:13:30 PM
Personally, it wouldn't bother me one bit if they just outlawed all the chemical fertilizers and such.  Nobody needs "perfect" or "better than the Jones's" lawns.

My lawns never been perfect but they banned "Cosmetic" herbicide use here in Ontario a couple years ago.  Basically, you can't spray your lawn.  A lot of people were pretty upset and a bunch just do it anyway.  Biggest thing I've noticed is public parks are pretty weedy now but otherwise, no big deal.  I do find it frustrating that golf courses are exempt because they are a "business" and they are one of the largest users of weed control products and fertilizers.

I worked in formulation screening for a major ag chem company for many years and I can tell you that most of the products on the market today are pretty safe when used properly.  Most farmers use them wisely because they are looking to maximize profit and chemicals are expensive so any way they can reduce product reduces cost.  Homeowners don't think this way and usually over do their applications.

Here we can get our water report that lists what major ag chemicals are in the water.  Mine's pretty good but not perfect.  Atrazine is an older chemical with a long soil life that used to be used in large volumes.  It's been replaced by newer products that don't have the carry-over concerns but it's still hanging around.  Like mentioned before, the bigger concern is ground water nitrate levels which can lead to all kinds of problems.

I am also amazed at how much water is used on lawns in general.  Groundwater is dwindling in a lot of areas but people still water.  Where I live, we've always had a low volume municipal well and no one can water.  Everyone's lawns look like crap in August, no one cares.  It's just a lawn.  I'll spend my time being proud of my kids or my beer before I worry about being proud of my lawn...
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: corkybstewart on May 01, 2011, 03:41:24 PM
Living in the desert I'm pretty concerned with water use.  I have 2 acres of land but I only water the area(about 80' X 60') directly behind my house. The rest of the yard is dry and brown until it rains,assuming it ever rains again. I use my water well for watering that little piece of land and my trees, The water from it is absolutely undrinkable with over 5000ppm dissolved solids, mostly gypsum, but it does make a beautiful green lawn without any added fertilizers.
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: vista on May 01, 2011, 04:08:57 PM
moved into a house a couple of years back with both septic and well. since then i've gone to all 'natural' cleaners. i think a lot more about what i put down the garbage disposal, dump out...whatever.
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: euge on May 01, 2011, 04:22:48 PM
Living in the desert I'm pretty concerned with water use.  I have 2 acres of land but I only water the area(about 80' X 60') directly behind my house. The rest of the yard is dry and brown until it rains,assuming it ever rains again. I use my water well for watering that little piece of land and my trees, The water from it is absolutely undrinkable with over 5000ppm dissolved solids, mostly gypsum, but it does make a beautiful green lawn without any added fertilizers.

Corky up there in West Texas they've only had 0.10" rain in over 213 days. I can't find the data but think it's the same here in Bexar county. That's fookin dry. I'm been forced to water my lawn or it will die, and I'm not going through that again. It's springtime and all the trees are sucking the moisture out of the ground and there's huge cracks in places. Then there's the foundation to consider when the ground starts moving like that. We got a decent forecast for rain tonight, but skepticism rules.

I don't add fertilizer, but mulch and compost. Spot use of herbicide on weeds only. My experience is that I only began to have problem with weeds when I let the lawn die from drought. Since then it has been a long continuous 2-year battle. My supremacy is nearly complete with almost 100% regrowth. The herbicide is the Ortho "Southern Lawn" that'll kill the weeds but not my precious grass.



Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: tubercle on May 01, 2011, 04:45:47 PM
I think a bigger problem is residual drugs, Xanax and birth control hormones for example, from treated sewage being introduced into the water supply.
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: tschmidlin on May 01, 2011, 08:43:33 PM
I think you're right tubercle.

I don't water the lawn at all, but then it is mostly moss.  Even around here though, it is mostly brown by the end of the summer.  I've added to iron sulfate it keep the moss in check, but it only works a little.  I need to de-thatch and aerate, that should help the grass.
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: bluesman on May 02, 2011, 12:51:17 AM
I give the lawn a little tlc during the spring and fall but totally give up during the summer. Last year during the peak of summer my lawn was golden brown. Right now my lawn is as green as ever and looks fantastic but it won't last for long.

You can't mess with mother nature.  :)
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: speed on May 02, 2011, 02:13:23 AM
i live on top of one of the largest underground aquafers, the oglalla aquafer. best water in the world, and some of the softest as it gets filtered through sand.
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: beveragebob on May 02, 2011, 02:20:18 AM
   More Info on the Ogallala Aquifer in the Great Plains

    Even though we know the dangers of heavily pumping water from aquifers, some regions are still dealing with these consequences. In the U.S. Great Plains, the Ogallala Aquifer is a prime example of groundwater depletion. This aquifer provides water for South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. It spans an area of 800 miles from north to south, and 400 hundred miles from east to west.

    Water level changes in the Ogallala Aquifer (Cunningham, William P. et. al., “Environmental Science, 7th edition, McGraw Hill 2003.)
 

    It was first tapped in 1911 when a farmer dug a well by hand for irrigation purposes. In the 1950s there were approximately 80 wells a year that were being dug to tap the aquifer in Colorado alone. There were some restrictions placed on digging wells to tap the Ogallala Aquifer, but these limitations did not stop farms and cities from depleting the aquifer. This aquifer supplies 70% of the water used daily in Kansas.
     
    The water pumped from Ogallala Aquifer is used mostly for irrigation purposes. The land in the Great Plains is semi-arid and the water that is available evaporates quickly. Due to the need for greater amounts of water for irrigation, the aquifer is being depleted because the recharging process cannot keep up with the withdrawal of water. Since people had started to rely on the Ogallala Aquifer for irrigation of their fields, 6% of the aquifer has dropped to an unusable level that can no longer be pumped. If irrigation continues to draw water from the aquifer at the same rate, about 6% of the aquifer will be used up every 25 years. One estimate states that the aquifer is being depleted at a rate of approximately 12 billion cubic meters per year. The biggest problem facing people who use the Ogallala Aquifer is that they do not know how long the water supply will last.
 
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: corkybstewart on May 02, 2011, 02:57:40 AM
The water crisis throughout the world will only get worse, we're not too far from seeing water wars between countries.  Texas and New Mexico have been fighting over water for decades, Alabama, Georgia and Florida are fighting over water and let's not even think about California and Arizona.
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: punatic on May 02, 2011, 03:26:09 AM
I get 180"/year of rain here at my house.  About 10 miles away they get 250"/year.  I use rainwater catchment for my household water.

I live in the Pahoa hydrologic unit on Hawaii Island.  The groundwater sustainable yeild is 467 million gallons per day.
That means that 467 million gallons of water can be pumped out of the aquifer in the Pahoa hydrologic unit every day without affecting the level of the aquifer (the recharge rate is >467MGD).  Most of this water flows into the ocean.  That does not include surface water flows.

Hawaii Island (approximately the size of Connecticut) has a groundwater sustainable yeild of 2,410 million gallons per day.

No water wars here.   ;)

Hydrologic Units and Sustainable Yields of Hawaii Island (http://www.state.hi.us/dlnr/cwrm/mapsillustrations/gwhu_hawaii.pdf)
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: beveragebob on May 02, 2011, 03:41:11 AM
Hey Carl, has there been any radiation impact on anything where you're at from the meltdowns in Japan?
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: chumley on May 02, 2011, 04:07:12 AM
Hmmmm....I thought this was going to be about how NOT to break open the chips and salsa after partaking in some non-addictive medical marijuana.

Nevermind.
Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: dean on May 02, 2011, 04:26:41 AM
Hey Chumley, I'd much rather be on the road with drivers buzzed on marijuana than drivers buzzed on alcohol.  I've yet to hear of somebody high on mj being the cause traffic fatalities.  But with medical mj people also can't be driving, nothing wrong with that.  I just wish the whole country would legalize it and get it overwith... keeping a law saying it is illegal is like the prohibition, its going to end sooner or later anyway.   Jmo, for what its worth. 


Title: Re: Weed and Feed?
Post by: punatic on May 02, 2011, 05:02:10 AM
Hey Carl, has there been any radiation impact on anything where you're at from the meltdowns in Japan?

Mostly just unfounded fear.  The radiation from Daiichi has had more of an impact on the US mainland than it does here in Hawaii.  The jet stream carries it up around Alaska and down.

North Pacific Jet Stream model (http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/display_alt.cgi?a=npac_250)

We've been getting lots of calls at the lab for radiation testing of rainwater catchment.  I tell the callers that they will get more sick worrying about radiation than from any radiation in the environment here.