Water Source

Does anyone know if any major stores in the UK sell distilled water?

I have a water butt out the back of my house but the water doesn't look fantastic and I am reluctant to use it.

Is filtered water an okay back-up?
Or is boiled water better?
Spring water?

Any other recommendations?

Filtered is ok if it's through a reverse osmosis system. Boiled is a definite no-no. Spring water is probably too high in minerals that are hrmful to CP"s. I just bought a 5 stage RO system for around &#36160 on eBay because I got tired of buying distilled water and we're in a little drought here so rain water is scarce.
I have been phoning around (because search our site functions tend to be a bit crap on non-internet based stores who have websites).

B&Q have 1 litre bottles for just under a pound, Homebase only sells tiny bottles apparently? So B&Q it is! Although this is only good for someone (like me) with a small amount of plants.
I had a normal Vft which i gave normal tap water for 1 year, and i still have it. Since i joined these forums, i am now using rain water. I now have a Royal Red and South West Giant, so i don't want them to die on me. Although i now know how bad tap water is for Vft's, I think my tap water is not as bad as other places. I live in Wales (UK) and i get 'soft' water here. Is this water ok to use ? If not I will be getting a reverse osmosis system, since i hate collecting rain water, i have about 5 buckets out permanently.

Anyone know a good place to buy a RO system in the UK ??
dave2150, there are some RO systems on eBay that ship internationally. I'm not sure what the shipping charges would be but it might be worth checking into. The prices are reasonable for the products.
Thanks for the help Dyflam. But how bad is 'soft water' for my Vft's ?? I do not give it to my plants now, but i did give it to a Vft for 1 year and it is going great. Anyone ?
Harry - I take it that de-ionised water is the same thing as distilled water ? This could be a good solution for me, saves buying a reverse osmosis system. 59p is not bad considering.

Thanks for the info.


apple rings.. what more can i say?
Yes, filtered water will make a good back up. Boiled water and spring water are accidents waiting to happen b/c they are too high in minerals.
How about boiling water, filtering it, then boiling it again ? Would this be ok to use on a regular basis ? (I use rain water at the moment, but it is very tedious putting buckets out every time it rains).
Boiling is just a bad thing. I think all boiling is good for is removing chlorine from your water (not even sure about that). Minerals are actually concentrated by boiling the water.
Dave, you could try using water from a river or stream. There is a risk involved if your bedrock is very alkaline, or the water isn't very clean, but I've always used water from the stream at the bottom of my garden. You could make a trip to a river, fill up some bottles and test it on one of your plants.
Hi Dave,
Getting the right water is the most common headache when growing CP especially when we get long dry spells in the UK.
Looking at B&Q the other day, they sell good quality water butts and rainwater diverters for quite low prices. That way all the plants (not just CPS) will benefit. Not only that, rainwater is acidic due to cabon dioxide content picked up which makes it really a weak carbolic acid solution...great for CP with a pH of 5.5!

The amount of hassle, worry etc you would save will far outweight the outlay in the long run....

Ask Richard UK what lengths I have gone to make sure my collection has enough rainwater!
Thanks for the advice. So its either a water butt or water from my local river. Any method to determine whether the river water is acidic ? And is it possible that river water could contain lime also ?
I've used PH testers in the past, but they are made to test the soil's ph right ? So surely its not possible to test water's PH using it ? Is it ?
Hi Dave,
With River water, a lot depends on where you live. If you are 'lucky' enough to live in an area say in Dartmoor, Lake district where you KNOW the water is not going to be contaminated with agricultural run off such as fertilizers etc or that the river does not originate or cross limestone, then you will be safe.

Personally, I would not risk it with river water. Your safest cheapest bet in the long run is a water butt, and depending on how many plants you have, I calculate with 3 to 4 litres per plant water storage to outlive a 6 week dry spell which we can and do get in the UK. To give you an idea, I have 10,000 litres water storage as my collection is extremely valuable.
Thanks for the warning about river water. Come to think of it there are lots of fields where the farmer could be using fertilizers, plus i'm pretty sure the river passes over areas of limestone. There goes that idea. A relative of mine does have a large store of rainwater, which has run off a roof into a water butt. The water is not that clean, but does not stink either, is this ok to use ?
Halfords sells distilled water in a 5 litre bottle, £3 though... :shocked:

Still if you don't too many plants this is okay (especially useful during the warmer months).