Having a water licence for the abstraction of water for agricultural irrigation entails periodic testing of the quality of water used for irrigation. Too infrequent or improperly performed water quality analyses can have far-reaching negative effects on food safety, as well as the soil environment and future soil fertility.
The use of water with high salinity results in soil salinisation in the long term, which manifests itself as a reduction in soil biological activity, a decrease in fertility and a consequent significant drop in yields. Regular testing of the quality of water used for crop irrigation allows the correct choice of treatment method and prevents soil salinisation. Irrigation water treatment requires both investment in equipment and carries operational costs associated with the operation of filtration equipment. There are currently no strict irrigation water quality standards in Poland, but in many countries with dry climates where most crops are irrigated, such standards have been developed and implemented based on bad experiences with soil salinisation, including in the USA and Spain. For water quality testing, you can contact one of the District Chemical and Agricultural Stations directly. For example, the determination of salinity and pH together with sample preparation costs only about a dozen zlotys. Once every 2-3 years, it is worthwhile to carry out an extended analysis of the irrigation water, including the content of calcium, potassium, sodium, nitrogen and others. A price list of services can be found, for example, on the website of the National Chemical and Agricultural Station in Warsaw.