Using Spring Water on Plants: What you Need to Know

Using Spring Water on Plants: What you Need to Know

With the extra benefit of adding minerals to the soil with each watering, spring water is a healthy and economical way to water plants.

A cost-effective way to give plants nutrient-rich water with minerals like calcium and magnesium and a pH between 7.0 and 8.0 is to use spring water. To make sure that spring water doesn’t contain any biological or chemical impurities that could stunt plant growth, it should first be tested.

As long as it doesn’t include any hazardous compounds, spring water is thought to be good to plants. The key is moving or flowing spring water!

I will discuss everything about well water in this article, including how safe it is for plants, the toxins it contains, and how to purify it before use.

Is Spring Water Safe For Plants?

You should be cautious about which water is helpful, hazardous, or damaging to plants.

Spring water is among the most affordable solutions for watering plants. Untreated groundwater is spring water.

But that cannot be handled by humans. Spring water is produced by groundwater sifting through layers of silt and rock. Mineral deposits are left in the water as a result of these layers’ active filtration of the pollutants.

If certain requirements are met prior to use, spring water is unquestionably not detrimental for plants. Below are the requirements:

  • The appropriate number of nutrients should be present, neither fewer nor more.
  • There are no dangerous microorganisms present.

When springwater originates from a source that isn’t stagnant, we can use it without any concerns or safety measures.

Stability can encourage animals and insects to drink, which can lead to the growth and festering of germs in the water.

Spring water, in this instance, can harm your plants for the following reasons if it is not subjected to purifying processes.

  • No assurance can be given that it is devoid of lethal diseases and toxic germs, which can injure the plant and have an adverse effect on your health.
  • It can be overly alkaline or too acidic.

Many diseases can spread through contaminated water, affecting both plants and people.

Fun fact: Nevada has more naturally occurring hot springs than any other state in the US, with over 300 total.

What are The Contaminants in Spring Water?

Think carefully before watering the plant with spring water if it is coming from a location where it has been sitting still for some time without being purified.

The spring water may contain both biological and chemical impurities, which might poison your plants.

The contaminating agents that render things impure are known as contaminants.

There are many distinct kinds of pollutants, including chemical contaminants, biological contaminants, and more.

Well water contains a few of the following chemical and biological pollutants, which are listed below:

Chemical Contaminants in Spring Water

Because many firms bury their trash underground to get rid of it, there is a minor potential that your spring is chemically tainted if you reside close to an industrial area.

While some of this “hidden” garbage might not be dangerous when it’s above ground. When buried things decompose, buried chemicals from those materials may seep into the soil.

These chemical pollutants can be found in spring water:

  • Salts,
  • metallic heavy (calcium, magnesium, potassium, lead),
  • Animal and human waste

Biological Contaminants in Spring Water

Numerous bacteria, protozoa, diseases, and parasites are included. To the unaided eye, these microbes are invisible.

When rainfall passes through polluted soil that contains bacteria and protozoa, biological pollutants may result. These bacteria arrive in the spring in this manner.

In addition to these impurities, well water contains a significant amount of nitrates and nitrites. These can be found in sewage, animal waste, and fertilizers.

Through the passage of groundwater, they get to the spring water.

These toxins render the water poisonous, making it unfit for drinking or other uses like irrigation or plant watering.

Have You Heard? Using the website, you can look for them in your neighborhood.

How Can They Affect Plants?

Is Spring Water Safe For Plants?

Both plants and people are fatally affected by contaminants. Plants that drink contaminated water will wilt or experience other harmful issues.

Well water contains a lot of salts and compounds, like calcium, magnesium, and iron, which is particularly harmful to your plants.

Excessive Nitrates: 

If you live close to a ranch or farm, your spring water may contain an excessive amount of nitrate, which, if given to plants in a large enough amount, could lead to overfertilization.

The growth of algae in the water is facilitated by nitrates, according to research from Penn State University. The general health and development of plants may be impacted by these algae.

A Large Amount of Iron: 

Sometimes an excessive amount of iron can pollute springwater.

In that situation, the well water will constantly come into contact with the rocks below, which will raise the water’s iron content.

High iron intake in plants’ diets may have an impact on the chlorophyll, result in bronzing, discolored leaves, and cause stunted growth. Additionally, it will give water a metallic flavor.

High Ratio of Calcium: 

Say calcium carbonate and spring water come into constant contact (limestone). In that situation, the amount of calcium in the water would increase, which will directly impact plants.

By raising the pH, too much calcium in the water will cause it to become alkaline. High calcium levels can also have a negative impact on seed germination and slow down plant growth.

to learn more in-depth information about how calcium impacts plants, particularly when it comes to concrete. See our in-depth post for more information on how cement can harm plants.

A High Amount of Salt: 

High salt levels prevent plants from absorbing water and vital nutrients. The plant will grow poorly as a result of this.

Keep in mind that everything in excess can be hazardous, including the salt content of plants.

Your plants may experience “salt stress” from excessive salt, which can stunt development or even cause death under long-term exposure.

High Level of Magnesium: 

Hard water is defined as having high Ca and Mg concentrations. A plant’s ability to absorb enough nutrients for healthy growth is decreased by hard water.

What are The Benefits of Using Spring Water?

The fact that springwater is inexpensive and easily accessible in large amounts is one of its many noteworthy advantages.

As a result, spring water is among the cheapest sources of water for plants, along with tap water and well water.

Well water is preferred by some plants because it has all the nutrients they require to fulfill their thirst.

Potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium are just a few of the crucial elements for plants that can be found in the water that filters through rocks and ends up in the spring.

In order for crops like sweet potatoes and radishes to thrive healthily, you should utilize spring water. These plants need a soil pH range of 5.5 to 6.5.

Additionally, springwater contains a sizable amount of advantageous microorganisms, which not only support healthy plant growth but are also not harmful to the growth and proper operation of plants.

How To Test and Purify Spring Water?

You may test and cleanse your spring water in a variety of ways.

Lab Test:

Finding a test lab nearby and asking them to check and purify your spring water are the easiest ways to test and purify spring water.

After doing the relevant check-in tests, they will check-in at your location and advise you of the results.

On Amazon, you can also buy a straightforward test kit for aquarium water, which is quite advantageous for plants.

Clicking here will take you there.

Water Purification Kit:

You can also test and clean spring water on your own. You can purchase a home kit from any supermarket or online retailer and follow the instructions provided inside the kit.

We found some excellent options for purifying water on Amazon that were also really affordable. By clicking here, you can access them.

Local Health Departments:

You could also ask the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the county health agency in your area to handle the task for you.

Reverse Osmosis:

Reverse osmosis filters are a quick and simple way to test for contamination in water and clean it up. Using a semi-permeable membrane, it is used to filter water.

To make water suitable for consumption, this membrane filters away undesired and hazardous particles including pollutants and sediments.

When using a RO system, water is forced through membranes to remove impurities that are invisible to the human eye.

Reverse osmosis, or RO, is a process that can be found in any store, but you can get some affordable kits on Amazon by clicking here.

Additionally, you can use it independently to rid your water of lethal germs.

Natural Spring Water Vs Bottled Spring Water

Only 55% of the bottled water sold under the description “spring water” is genuinely spring water. Just treated tap water makes up 45%.

In an aquifer that is at or below the earth’s natural water table, spring water can be found underground, as previously stated.

Before it reaches the surface, the water passes through layers of rocks where it is filtered and takes up minerals from those rocks. Because of the continual movement of this water, bacteria and minerals cannot accumulate.

The majority of bottled spring water makes this claim, although it is untrue. In order for you, the client, to find the water enjoyable and return for more, some of the water is treated to make it more palatable or to increase the flavor.

Utilizing water directly from an active spring is the obvious choice when it comes to plants and economics because it is both natural and inexpensive (assuming transportation isn’t an issue).

Spring Water vs Well Water

Fountain WaterPump Water
originating from the earthalso originates from the earth
natural surfacesTo get to the water, a well needs to be drilled.
continuously moving or runningIn a well, there is water.
Contains minerals that are good for plants.additional minerals that are advantageous to plants
Mineral buildup is hardly noticeable.can accumulate a lot of minerals.
Low bacterial countstaying stationary can breed a lot of bacteria and sickness
does not always require treatment before watering plants.To guarantee that contaminants don’t harm the plants, they might need to be treated.

Other Natural Water sources

Rain Water

In contrast to spring water, rainwater may be found practically anywhere in the world. However, depending on your geographic location and the quantity of pollution there, the quality of rainfall may vary.

Compared to spring water, which is slightly alkaline, rainwater is typically somewhat acidic. Its acidity ranges from 6.5 to 7.0, but with additional air pollution, it can become even more acidic.

Because plants prefer slightly acidic water, you could find that you have to mow the lawn frequently after it starts to rain.

When pouring rainwater on your plants, you might see faster development since the acidity makes the minerals from the soil more mobile and accessible to the plants.

In some American states, however, it is illegal to collect rainwater, so if you want to use it to water your garden, you’ll need to go by the state’s regulations on how much you may store.


Crazy, huh? Snow, indeed, is also a cheap alternative to watering your plants. However, snow, or frozen water, is really rain in a frozen state, and when applied to plants, it can have the same positive effects as rain.

Snow, as we all know, only occurs in temperate climates, thus it might not be something we can easily access in the southerner states of America.

See our more in-depth post on Watering plants with snow.


More advantages than you might imagine come from leaving plants outside, and dew is one of them.

Dew is the result of atmospheric moisture condensing. Simply put, it is the water droplets that we see in the morning on leaves and other outside objects, typically in the colder months of spring or winter.

In some places, even on extremely hot and humid days, the amount of dew produced may be sufficient to meet plant watering needs.

Water from wells and springs is also considered to be a good, affordable alternative.

River Water

If accessible, river water can also be used. The water supply must be clear and flowing, just like spring water.

By doing this, stagnation is removed, which can encourage the accumulation of harmful bacteria that is bad for both people and plants.

However, river water may have precisely the proper level of nitrates for strong plant growth.

Nitrates give plants the nitrogen they need to grow healthy, lush-green leaves.

Pond Water

For the same reason as river water, pond water—whether it be natural or man-made from a landscaping project—can be utilized to water plants.

The nitrates released when aquatic creatures like fish, turtles, and frogs decompose their excrement are essential for plants’ healthy growth.

A hybrid form of aquaponics uses pond water for plants. You can read our in-depth post on aquaponics to learn what it is and how it helps plants.

The Takeaway:

To make sure springwater is suitable for watering plants, it should be tested. Before it causes any harm to you or your plant, immediately address anything you notice, such as germs, substances with a high salt content, or nitrates.

One essential evidence that there has not been a considerable accumulation of germs or minerals in the water is that the spring water is flowing or moving.

In addition to spring water, the following other reliable water sources can be used:

  • source water
  • Rain Water
  • Dew
  • Stream Water
  • Lake Water


How does bottled water affect plants?

The root structures may become dehydrated as a result of these excessive salts. According to Ohio State University Extension, excessive salts harm plants by inhibiting growth, producing limited amounts of new growth, causing dead roots to sprout, and causing leaves to wilt.

Is spring water or purified water better for plants?

The inherent minerals in spring water are beneficial to plants. They will prosper and expand more quickly. Distilled water will also support and care for your plants. However, distilled water and deionized water do not have the same amount of nutrients as spring water.

Is bottled water OK to water plants with?

Yes is the clear-cut response. Compared to tap water, it’s generally safe to water plants using bottled water. It is also quite affordable. The majority of specialists concur that tap water contains a sizable amount of chlorine, which, when used excessively, can harm plants’ root systems.

Can I use spring water for plants?

Even if it has been filtered, spring water will benefit plants even more than typical tap water since it is oxygen-heavy, which they require. Additionally, the naturally occurring minerals in spring water offer crops an extra boost so they may grow stronger.

What type of water is best for watering plants?

Unless it has been softened, most tap water should be fine for your houseplants. Softened water contains salts, though, which can accumulate in the soil over time and cause issues. Although most houseplants can tolerate chlorinated water, a filtration system is far better for your plants.