Does water quality effect spraying efficiency


Well-Known Member
Reading a nozzle question just now reminding me of a question I had. Has anyone used creek or pond water to spray herbicides?

Scenario: I built a spray rig a while back for my sxs. It is a 35 gallon setup with an 8ft boom (covers 12ft) and a wand with 100ft of hose. It handles 90% of the spraying duties when it comes to hunting. I often find myself out in the woods running low or empty whether it be on my place or friends that I'm helping. Instead of having to haul water with us or have to load back up and make the trip to refill. I had the idea of replumbing my sprayer to where I can fill it up using the pump (4.0 gpm) utilizing creeks on the property. The pump self primes up to about 15ft of hose and take about 8-9 minutes to fill up the tank. It runs through a fine mesh strainer both on the end of the hose and on the sprayer itself. I also have strainer on my spray tips.

My question. Has anyone used creek water to spray herbicides and if so have you seen a noticable result? It would be so much easier just to carry around a jug of chemical with me instead of running back and forth between spraying.

Disclaimer: (yes that is an air hose & reel) this sprayer I built is going on 8 years old. I purposely built it with readily available parts to keep repair cost at a minimum and to make it easier.
Glyphosate will bind with particles in dirty water to render it ineffective or less effective. I'm not sure about binding with other chemicals.
Glyphosate will bind with particles in dirty water to render it ineffective or less effective. I'm not sure about binding with other chemicals.
How dirty of water is my question? A swift moving clear stream, is that too dirty? How fine of particles? I've read why PH matters. But the direction our water is actually helps it. I'm sure under a microscope there's stuff in the water but to the naked eye it's crystal clear. Has anyone have experience with this? I guess I can always do a test spot with said water to determine if it is effective. Yeah, yeah....that's what I'll do. I'm going to test the PH as well to see how that works.
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I've used rain water out of a cistern, and that worked fine. I think you mainly have to worry about particulates binding to it. If there's not a lot of sediment in the water, I'd go for it.
If you are using all of the tank mixes allowed or advised on the label, such as spraying roundup and adding crop oil & using AMS as a tank mix adjuvant I don't see a problem with it. AMS use in glyphosate especially would be important with creek water as it binds to the minerals in the water to keep the herbicide molecules free to work on the vegetation is the simplest explanation. I'd use the creek water, making sure to read the label and use all the adjuvants, surfactants, and/or activators allowed. These tank mixes are good to stay up to date on anyway, you learn how to mix the particular product one time and you got it. Mixing saves money, saves using as much chemicals, and makes them work better. The people who sell this stuff are usually a wealth of information on what works well together. As far as the creek water, tying a handkerchief or similar cloth over the screen end in the water and avoiding stirring up any mud when pumping helps a lot. I have a water filter for hiking and drank water out of small creeks with the filter pump many a time. I've experienced water out of clear mountain streams that tasted bad, and I've had water out of a swamp that tasted better than expensive Evian bottled water. There's a huge difference in water, but in this case with proper tank mixes that won't matter.