Stowater Laura Research Paper
Laura A. Stowater
Algona High School
Dr. Michael McNeill
January 2, 2018
Effects of Activated Water on Top Growth Mass of Lepidium Sativum
Algona High School Algona, Iowa
Mentor Dr. Michael McNeill, Ag Advisory Ltd.
Environmental Sciences (Land Resource Management)
Acknowledgement of Major Assistance
Dr. Michael McNeill helped with advising the experimental design, assisting with equipment construction, supplying a lab space, providing expertise and knowledge, and assisting in executing the experiment.
Janet Holmes assisted with design set-up and plant expertise.
Neil Kottschade helped with overseeing the construction of the system.
Pursanova and Vatché Keuftedjian loaned me the three systems for my experiment.
Todd Stowater provided economic support in materials to build the system: PVC pipes, valves, etc.
Megan Rasmussen and Megan Sabin were my academic advisors from Algona Community Schools.
Liz Stowater helped with carrying out the experiment.
Jay Stowater helped with carrying out the experiment.
Table of Contents
With a growing world population and finite land and water resources, it is crucial to create solutions to maximize the efficiency of food production. American agriculture is estimated to use about 80 percent of the water and more than 90 percent in some Western states. (https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-practices-management/irrigation-water-use/) Water usage is an expensive problem and could have dangerous environmental effects. In fact, California will require triple the amount of groundwater than can be supplied over the next 100 years unless significant change occurs. (Booth, n.d.) Water and its role in food production will play a significant role in the future of the world. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, said, "Over the coming decades, feeding a growing global population and ensuring food and nutrition security for all will depend on increasing food production. This, in turn, means ensuring the sustainable use of our most critical finite source, water." (http://www.un.org/waterfor lifedecade/food_security.shtml) The question ultimately raised is how can we conserve the water resources by using less water, while producing greater yields. One proposed solution is activated water.
Activated water, also called structured water or the fourth phase of water, describes the state of water in which it is arranged in a liquid crystalline pattern at the molecular level. (Ptok, 2014) Activated water occurs naturally. Activated water can be replicated with commercial systems through the resonation of water over the ceramic based mineral ores that replicate the movement of water in streams. (Pursanova, 2013) Water moves in vortices and Pursanova has found it has its greatest energy in a “cycloid spiral space-curve motion.” (Pursanova, 2013) The technology is supposed to improve our water by emulating what occurs naturally. The concept that water can change organization while maintaining its identity has been confirmed through Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometry. (Sato, K., Ago, Sato, T., & Okajima, 2005 and Ptok, 2014) Water is exactly the same as how it has been since the beginning of time, except the vibration is weaker, due to humans tampering with it: contaminating, polluting, changing, and purifying. (Vatché Keuftedjian, Pursanova CEO, personal communication) When water moves through piping, its vibrational frequency is slower; it forms clusters and loses its crystalline structure. (Personal communication with Keuftedjian and Ptok, 2014) As the positive hydrogen collides in activated water, it vibrates faster. This collision also breaks up some of the large clusters. The purpose of activating water is to release some of the clusters to make the hydrogen and water molecules move faster. According Keuftedjian, “Having clean water is not enough for maximum potential of water; vibration is key.” (personal communication)
The new organization of hexagonal oligomers which are tetradhedrally bonded to other water molecules causes reduced surface tension and modified hydrogen bond angles. (Ptok, 2014)
Other research has shown positive attributes of activated water. The amount of chlorine ions absorbed by vegetable roots was greatly reduced when plants were watered with activated water; activated water has also been shown to inhibit E. coli growth in poor nutritional culture. (Sato, K., Ago, Sato, T., & Okajima, 2005) “It has been proven in lab analysis to be more anti-oxidant than any other water available.”(http://pursanova.com/learn.html) The activated water had a positive charge because of the formation of an electric double layer interface between the water and the mineral surface while no absorption or desorption occurred. (Sato, K., Ago, Sato, T., & Okajima, 2005
Activated water has been used to grow corn, lettuce, and rice with much success, as well as extend the life of cut flowers and harvested produce. (Ohkoshi, 1998 and pursanova.com)
From this experiment, I hope to conclude how activated water affects the production of Lepidium Sativum in terms of top-growth mass.
HO: Plants watered with treated water are not different than plants watered with tap water.
H1: Plants watered with treated water have greater top-growth mass than plants watered with tap water.
Activated water and its application to plants are especially useful because of its unique properties.
Lepidium Sativum, commonly known as garden cress, is an annual herb originating in Persia. (http://www.fao.org/docrep/t0646e/T0646E0t.htm) It can be eaten and historically has been used for medicinal purposes. It can be grown in most soils and climate, but cannot survive frost. It can be harvested when its cotyledon leaves are developed. (http://www.fao.org/docrep/t0646e/T0646E0t.htm) This plant requires above average amounts of water as compared to other plants and is best suited for consistently moist soil which makes it well suited for the study. (http://herbgardening.com/growinggardencress.htm) Garden cress matures relatively quickly. Garden cress seeds will germinate in between five and 15 days, but can germinate in as few as 24 hours to four days if in a specified media. (http://herbgardening.com/growing gardencress.htm) Some studies on garden cress are being done as a means of monitoring soil contamination. (Mphekgo and Cleote, 2002)
The independent variable in this study is the type of water used. The different types of water were processed through: Pursanova Disk, Pursalex PN-25, Big Blue filter system, both Disk & PN-25, both Disk & Big Blue filter, both PN-25 and Big Blue filter, and all three, Disk, Big Blue filter, and PN-25. These were compared against Algona (IA) city tap water. Also, Algona city tap water was processed through the system to produce the final water types. This variable was chosen because limited research exists for activated water. To manipulate this variable, careful planning and execution was made to ensure the water produced was what it is supposed to be, i.e. no cross contamination. To ensure accuracy, the waters all had the same origin, the systems were assembled carefully, according to instruction, including that the Ring had to be at least four feet from any electrical field. (http://pursanova.com/media/pdf/Installation%20of%20Pursanova%20Disk.pdf)
The experiment had three different components being tested individually and in all possible combinations. Pursanova generously loaned the equipment for the experiment. The Pursanova Disk, which may be called the ring in this paper, alters oscillation patterns to combat such problems as corrosion, rust, and lime. (http://pursanova.com/ pursanova_disk) The new oscillation waves have shorter wavelength and higher frequency, increasing penetration. (Personal communication with Keuftedjian, 2017) The Pursalex PN-25, which may be referred to as the tube in this paper, activates the water as it passes over the specific ceramic mineral ores. This activation results in increased saturation and reduced surface tension. (Personal communication with Keuftedjian) The Big Blue filter system contains three filters: a sediment filter, an activated carbon block, and a filter made of proprietary technology from Pursanova. (pursanova.com)
The dependent variable in this study was the L. Sativum top growth and resulting mass. Measuring the top growth mass is an important factor to study because the top growth is what is consumed as food and what is important to producers. Also, if the systems do indeed improve saturation and penetration and increase bioavailability, that could manifest itself in the form of increased top-growth.
To answer the research question, I conducted two trials of the experiment. In both trials, I grew 200 seeds of Lepidium Sativum for 12 days. In the first trial I had three replications of each treatment, and in the second trial, I had five replications. Each trial was subjected to the same heat, amount and distance from light, soil, amount of water, and other environmental constants to ensure that any change in results could be tied back to the treatment type; I watered the plants daily and purged the lines to ensure accuracy. I harvested the plants by placing the herb trimming sheers at the top of the pot so the height measured from was uniform. The trimmings were weighed using an electronic scale. This represented the best method as many agricultural products are measured and sold by weight. This is a meaningful measurement as it has direct economic implications. Due to the purpose of the experiment, the only qualitative data observed can be found in the Observation section. The qualitative data that was observed was collected and documented in an unbiased way; to ensure impartial results, photographs were taken when applicable. Qualitative data was not the main purpose of the experiment.
Materials and Methods
My hypothesis is that treated water will increase growth compared to Algona city tap water. If the treated water has no effect, there will be no difference in yield. I will test this by controlling all environmental factors to my best abilities and varying only the water type used. I will measure it by harvesting the dry-matter from above a consistent place after a specified time period, and weighing it to compare the production.
All experimentation was done at Ag Advisory Ltd., Algona Iowa. The lab was a controlled indoor environment with a 70 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. The lab has a timed light to provide nine hours of daylight to the plants. All plants were equal distance from the light source and on the same plane.
The system was designed after I contacted and received equipment from Vatché Keuftedjian, the CEO of Pursanova. Pursanova, one of leaders in activated water technology, graciously allowed me to borrow three pieces of technology. When the products arrived, I was challenged to design a system that could isolate and combine the different components into all possible combinations. To ensure maximum effectiveness, I was instructed by Keuftedjian to place the Disk at the beginning of the system. I drew up and modified a design and it was approved by Keuftedjian that it would produce the water correctly; last year, the technology I was using may not have been operating at full capacity, thus producing possibly inaccurate results. I constructed the system using PVC pipes chemically welded to valves and elbow joints. The entire system was affixed to a wooden board.
In the first trial I used 24 plastic pots 2.5 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep. They were filled with organic potting soil with vermiculite and perlite and also organic Nicollet field soil. The pots were placed at equal height under 4-foot fluorescent grow lights.
Four parts potting soil to one part field soil were mixed and distributed into 24 small pots. Each pot was filled until the top of the soil reached the first line of the pot. Each container was watered according to its water type in preparation for planting. There were eight water types with three replications of each. 200 seeds were measured by weight on a scale. (200 seeds=0.40 grams) The 200 seeds were placed into individual paper seed envelopes. The envelopes were evenly distributed, one envelope per pot, over the prepared pots. The seeds were gently pressed into the containers by hand. Over the next 12 days, the seeds were watered equal amounts using the assigned water daily. On day six of the trial, all pots were raised equal height closer to light. Prior to watering the plants, each line was purged in preparation for its water type. To water the plants, I opened the appropriate valves, collected the water into a clean bucket, and transferred the water into a spray bottle used exclusively for that water type. The spray distance was kept consistent and identical spray bottles were used
I chose this combination of soil to ensure that the plants could develop a strong, healthy root system because herb roots have delicate roots and the vermiculite and perlite will help aerate the seedlings. The soil combination should also provide adequate nutrients to grow.
At different stages in the plants’ life, different amounts of water were required; however, on each day that the plants were watered all plant types received the same amount. The water used was never more than one day old. I confirmed with the CEO of Pursanova that the water would still have strong properties even after one month. This experiment used a lot of water, especially in ensuring that the filters were thoroughly purged of the previous water type, and I wanted to be as conservative with the water resources as possible. A five gallon bucket must be filled prior to collecting water using any combination involving the filter, before the water can be used for the plants. Specific details of each days’ watering were recorded in a research journal.
To validate the results another trial was initiated. The second trial was identical to first, except the second trial: had 5 replications (i.e. 40 pots), it used only potting soil, it was immediately started at the final height of the first trial plants, and the water was, at most, 3 days old. All water types were drawn on the same day of each watering period to ensure consistency.
Evaluation of Results
On the final day of the experiment, (Day 12: Trial 1& 2) the plants were harvested. To harvest, the herb cutting shears were placed at the top of the pot. The shears cut level across, and the cuttings were weighed on a scale. The results were recorded in grams.
The masses were recorded in a research journal and then transferred to Google Sheets for further analysis of data.
The statistical analyses used were mean, standard deviation, and students 1 tailed t-test. Student's t-test was performed to determine the statistical significance of data, i.e. if the change in the results was due to the independent variable, not chance. Social Science Statistics (http://www.socscistatistics.com /tests/ studenttest/) was used to perform the tests. Student’s t-test compares two means to distinguish if there are differences in means and how significant those differences are. (http://www.statisticshowto. com/probability-and-statistics/t-test/) The test produces t-values and p-values. The t-value is “is a ratio between the difference between two groups and the difference within the groups.” (http://www.statisticshowto. com/probability-and-statistics/t-test/) The t-value inversely corresponds with a p-value, meaning that a large t-value will equate to a small p-value. Ergo, if there is a higher the t-score, there will be a greater the difference in means. (http://www.statisticshowto.com /probability-and-statistics/t-test/) The p-value represents the percentage probability that the data resulted from chance. A low p-value represents more reliable data; a common benchmark used is 0.05 confidence level. (http://www.statisticshowto.com/probability-and-statistics/t-test/)
The pots were separated into 8 groups:
(C) These plants were watered with Algona city tap water.
(R) These plants were watered with water processed through the Pursanova Disk only.
(F) These plants were watered with water processed through the Big Blue filter system only.
(T) These plants were watered with water processed through PN-25 only.
(R & F) These plants were watered with water processed through the Pursanova Disk then through the Big Blue filter system.
(R & T) These plants were watered with water processed through the Pursanova Disk and PN-25.
(F & T) These plants were watered with water processed through the Big Blue filters and then through the PN-25.
(R, F, & T) These plants were watered with water processed through the Disk, then the Big Blue filters, and then the PN-25.
As systems are combined, the addition of technology retains the properties and benefits of the previous technology in addition to those properties and benefits of the added technology.
After the handwritten notes were transferred to Excel, I found the mean and standard deviation. Then I computed its statistical significance through the Student’s t-test. The sample size for the first trial was n=3, and the sample size for the second trial was n=5; the pooled data sample size was n=8.
These observations are important to note to further understand some aspects not covered in the quantitative results.
When initially watering the soil in preparation for planting, there were some noteworthy differences in how the various water types reacted with the soil. Ring water infiltrated the soil very uniformly and quickly. The Filter and Ring had even slightly better infiltration than the Ring alone water. I also noted that the speed of the infiltration wasn’t that quick for all three systems combined, however once the water did penetrate it retained it very well. The next day, I came back to plant the seeds, I noticed that all the systems combined had the best water retention--it was the wettest. The tube watered pots also had really great retention, as well as the pots watered with both the disk and tube.
After one trial was over, the pots had to be emptied to start a new trial. I noticed that there was less root growth at the bottom of the pot in the control than in treated plants. The plants with the most root growth were watered with all three systems combined. (Figure 2)
I observed difference in the plants’ ability to maintain hydration dependent on the treatment used. Due to a winter storm, I could not get to the lab one day. After a day without watering, all of the plants were wilting, had poor coloration and strength in stem, and were falling over the edge of the pot, except the plants watered with all three systems combined. Those plants were erect and had healthy coloration.
I also noticed difference in leaf size. From Figures 3, 4, &5 one can see that the plants watered with all three systems had much larger leaves, possibly suggesting more maturity in a shorter time span than it would take with regular tap water.
After harvesting the second trial’s top growth, I placed them in resealable plastic baggies and put them in a refrigerator. After 2 weeks in the refrigerator, water droplets formed in bags of treated waters’ cuttings, but not the control. In the control the leaves appeared to be drying out, while the treated water cuttings appeared moist and vibrant. (Figure 5)
As discussed previously in this paper the importance of optimizing water consumption in agriculture will be a pressing issue now and in the future. Sustainable water practices will greatly shape the food resources and its availability worldwide, as well as have economic and environmental consequences.
In the pooled data, the student’s t-test indicated a significant difference between the control and all other treatments at the p value 0.001 (Table 6). Comparing the filter with all other treatments, the effect the filter had was about the same as the effect the ring had; however, the tube resulted in statistically significantly greater growth (Table 3). Also, when comparing any combination of tube and another system(s) resulted in statistically greater growth when compared to filter. When comparing the ring with other systems, the ring was significantly lower as compared to all systems combined, but no different when just the ring and filter or ring and tube. The tube had no statistical difference to the means of any combination except it was significantly less than ring, filter, and tube combined. There was no statistical difference when comparing ring & tube to filter & tube or when comparing ring & tube to all three systems combined. When comparing ring and filter, the only statistical difference occurred when all three systems were combined and that resulted in statistically significantly greater growth for plants watered with all three systems combined. This trend occurred similarly within the individual trials. Ultimately, all three systems combined provided significantly better growth than control or any combination of ring, filter, or tube. In other words, to get the best production, all three components were necessary.
Therefore, from my research, I must reject my null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis. In all trials, some treatment type resulted in statistically significant growth, and, in the instance of the second trial, resulted in every type of treatment having greater mass. The second trials results may be due, in part, by the soil used. Because of the powder-like consistency of potting soil, treated water, with its unique properties, helped the plant grow better, make more effective use of nutrients, and increase edible excess. The Pursanova Disk was especially beneficial in the second trial likely because of its infiltrative and penetrative abilities. In trial one the mix of potting soil and black Nicollet field soil may have needed greater saturation in the soil, explaining why the systems with the statistical significance had the tube involved. The PN-25’s activation of the water molecules, breaking apart large clusters, increases penetration.
The results appear consistent with the abilities of the technology. The filter system includes a carbon filter which can remove contaminants such as organic compounds, fluorine, chlorine, and radon. (https://www.sswm.info/content/adsorption-activated-carbon) The contents of the other filters are proprietary business; however, one of the others is a sediment filter. Modulated molecular oscillation from the Pursanova Disk not only enhances the water itself by possibly reducing lime, corrosion, and microbiological contamination, but also greater penetration of plant flesh and soil. Finally, the vibration from the tube contributed great benefits because its reduced surface tension, reduced viscosity, and greater saturation, which may increase intracellular hydration and enable better bioavailability. (Ptok, 2014) The combination of these characteristics has, as seen from this study, resulted in the greatest growth. The qualitative data also validates the results seen from the technologies’ ability to produce plants with greater root growth and maintain hydration among other attributes.
The results raise some very important points. Regular water is not good enough. If activated water enabled L. Sativum to produce more dry mass, humans could benefit from a study on its affects on human health and development.
The pooling of two trials can be justified because even within one farm field the soil type can vary greatly, so it is important to understand how the waters react with different soils. Further research on the soil type used may be more beneficial to understanding activated waters full effects in agriculture, especially in arid climates.
This research had some limitations and knowledge could be improved on with further studies. This research was conducted in an indoor facility with controlled conditions to ensure plant’s security and provided a research environment; however, nature does not provide such safety. Additional research on how this water combats droughts, pests, and weather conditions like extreme temperature and wind could be beneficial to the agriculture industry. Also this study involved a plant that grows in a relatively short time span and only studied one plant type. Further studies on other plants, possibly fruit-bearing plants, with a longer lifespan could provide insight into its effects. Further research involving a larger sample size and different soil types could be beneficial.
This research is supported by and follows similar trends of improved growth by other research in the field. Research involving mung beans and alfalfa saw significant growth using structured water using the method of vortexing. (Ptok, 2014) A study involving romaine lettuce growth also saw improvements in root length and weight, plant weight, and stalk weight by using activated water from Pursanova. (Ohkoshi, 1998) Additional research could help substantiate this controversial topic and could improve our food.
This study provided key evidence of the positive effects of treated water on L. Sativum growth. The information gleaned from this research has major applications in the context of developed and developing nations for agricultural purposes. For all countries with limited and/or poor water resources, activated water could greatly improve not only the food available, but also the health and welfare of the people. When people have access to sufficient food and water, they can move on to greater pursuits. In the agricultural industry, producing more with less saves money for both the producer and consumer. Continuing with the idea of saving money by using less, an extension on this research could be if pesticides and fertilizers reliance could be reduced using activated water. Using less water is better in an environmental context because water is a limited resource that plays a big part in the health of natural resources and ecosystems. Further extensions on this research include how long plants fed this water will stay healthy, i.e. if there is a difference in shelf life. Preservation of food greatly impacts food sustainability, and if activated water can be found to extend food shelf life, that could provide a great solution to years with poor harvest or shipping products long distances.
The results from this experiment are very beneficial to the scientific community. Activated water partly challenges some foundational ideas of biochemistry and physics. (Ptok, 2014) This research has contributed greater understanding into the benefits of activated water in agricultural context. The topic of this research is very controversial and has had minimal research conducted up to date.
This study spawned many other questions in response. How cost-effective is activated water equipment for its applications? How does activated water affect other plants? It is a possible solution for drought conditions? Can activated water help decrease the dependency of fertilizers and pesticides? Can activated water produce food with greater nutritional density? How does activated water apply to other sectors of agriculture such as livestock production and outside of agriculture?
This study demonstrates with great certainty, substantiated by statistical support, that there is a relationship between the type of water used and the resulting top growth yield. Specifically, water treated with the Pursanova Disk, the Big Blue Filter system, and the PN-25 resulted in significantly more growth of L. Sativum in every trial. The combination of all three systems was necessary to get the best results because of the unique contribution of qualities each system added to the water. My alternative hypothesis was accepted because treated water does impact the harvested mass. This research is beneficial for agricultural and humans on a global scale, and this study shows great need for future research to fully comprehend activated water’s potential.
Adsorption (Activated Carbon). (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from https://www.sswm.info/content/adsorption- activated-carbon
Booth, K. (n.d.). 2014 – A Drought in Big Bear City's Future? Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.bbccsd.org/index.php/component/content/article?id=119%3Acalifornia-drought-monitor
Decade, Water for Life, 2015, UN-Water, United Nations, MDG, water, sanitation, financing, gender, IWRM, Human right, transboundary, cities, quality, food security, FAO, BKM, World Water Day. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/food_security.shtm
How To Grow Garden cress. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://herbgardening.com/ growinggardencress.htm
Mphekgo, M. P., & Cleote, T. E. (2002, March 12). Germination of Lepidium sativum as a method to evaluate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) removal from contaminated soil. Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964830502000598
(n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.fao.org/docrep/t0646e/T0646E0t.htm
(n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://pursanova.com/
Ohkoshi, M. (1998). The Effects of The Pursanova Water Treatment System on the Cultivation of Romaine Lettuce [Scholarly project]. In Pursanova.com. Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://pursanova.com/romaine_lettuce/
Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-practices -management/irrigation-water-use/
Pusanova. (2016). Pursanova.com [Brochure]. Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://pursanova.com/media/pdf/Installation%20of%20Pursanova%20Disk.pdf
Pursanova. (2013). [Brochure]. Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://pursanova.com/media/pdf/PursaLex.pdf
Pursanova DiskTM. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://pursanova.com/pursanova_disk
Ptok, Fabian, "Alternative Irrigation Methods: Structured Water in the context of a Growing Global Food Crisis due to Water Shortages" (2014). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 182. https://scholar.colorado.edu/honr_theses/182
Sato, K., Ago, M., Sato, T., & Okajima, K. (2005, May 24). The Structure of Water Induced by Specific Ceramics Treatment and Effects of Treated Water in View of Some Biological Aspects. Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://pursanova.com/the_structure_of_water/
T Test (Student’s T-Test): Definition and Examples. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.statisticshowto.com/probability-and-statistics/t-test/