Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP)

Last updated: November 19, 2021

What Does Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) Mean?

Oxidation reduction potential (ORP) is a way to measure water’s ability to either release or accept electrons during a chemical reaction. The ORP value is beneficial to plant growers because it helps them determine the water’s quality and decide what water treatment processes may be required to improve plant growth.

Oxidation reduction potential provides an idea of water’s ability to receive or gain electrons. A high ORP indicates that there is a greater potential to oxidize than a low ORP. The standard unit of measure to gauge the charge of a solution is the millivolt (mV).


Maximum Yield Explains Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP)

Any oxidation reduction potential requires a corresponding reduction reaction. There cannot be one without the other. An oxidation reduction potential indicates if an oxygen reduction can happen. It does not mean that the process will actually will happen.

Generally, a higher oxygen reduction potential indicates that the water has a greater number of oxidizing agents (a high ORP). Examples of common reducing agents include micro-organisms and organic inputs like organic fertilizers.

Oxidation reduction potential is a valuable tool in monitoring the water in pools, spas, drinking water, ponds, waste management facilities, and for plant irrigation.

Another common reference to ORP that growers use is to ask how “dead” or “alive” your water is, with the term dead water simply being considered sterile and free of disease, with a low- to non-existent concentration of bacteria.


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Water SupplyIrrigationPlant SciencePlant Health

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