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Thread: Collecting rainwater in upstate NY

  1. #1
    stretch.... yawn... jbradt's Avatar
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    Collecting rainwater in upstate NY

    Hey all,

    I was talking to a friend of mine about an upcoming move to upstate NY. She said that because of the acid rain/pollution, etc. that I shouldn't collect rainwater to water my plants. Any members in that area that do this? Anyone have a thought as to whether this could be dangerous?
    Indeed. Most indeededly. Phillip J. Frye


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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Your friend's data is 40 years out of date!
    and it never was the *whole* state..

    What part of upstate NY are you moving to?
    there has been problems with acid rain in the Adirondacks..
    but that was 30-40 ago..(1960's, 1970's, maybe 80's)
    but things have been gradually improving in the past few decades..

    but the rest of the state is fine..never had any acid rain.
    I have been collecting rainwater for 17 years in Rochester..no issues.

    unless you are moving to a mountain top in the Adirondacks, the rain in NY state is just as clean as anywhere else on the east coast..

    we used to be downwind from the largest industrial region in the world (the Great Lakes basin)
    but most of the heavy industry is now gone..
    things are much better now, environmentally speaking, than they were in the first 3/4 of the 20th century..


    Scot

  3. #3
    stretch.... yawn... jbradt's Avatar
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    Awesome. Thanks, Scotty. I will actually be in the Adirondacks, but not on a mountain top. =) It's the southern part of the Adirondack Park region in the area of Gloversville/Johnstown. I didn't think it could be that bad, but figured it couldn't hurt to get some info.
    Indeed. Most indeededly. Phillip J. Frye


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  4. #4
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I collect NYS rainwater all the time. No problems.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Precipitation in the Adirondacks was probably less acidic than in Rochester (not by much), but the thinner soils and lack of buffering capacity in Adirondack watersheds made the slightly less acidic precipitation falling there more devastating. Precipitation was even less acidic where where I did acid rain work in Maine during the 80s, but it hammered sensitive watersheds. The average pH of precipitation in our region has improved by ~0.5 since sulfur emission controls went into effect. Bog plants probably appreciate the acidity (although maybe not the elevated nitrate) and normal soils have more than enough buffering capacity to neutralize it.
    Last edited by herenorthere; 07-29-2010 at 09:24 AM.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    5 is also the pH of our purified water (WFI) at the pharmaceutical manufacturer.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    The pH of "pure" water would be ~5.6 in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2 at standard temperature & pressure. Electrodes used to measure pH have trouble with such a dilute solution and I used to see the pH of purified water vary a lot, even as conductivity stayed around 0.0. I think NY precipitation averages ~4.8 now, with the pH generally increasing from SW to NE.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

  8. #8
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Without ions to bind to, it varies a bit. 5 is actually ~5.

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