Swimming pools are an excellent way to spice things up in your backyard in summer.
As a homeowner, you may want to plant grass around your pool, but are worried ‘will pool water kill grass?’. Pool water can harm your grass depending on the amount of water or chlorine.
Small splashes here and there or dripping costumes won’t have any effect on the grass around your pool. However, emptying your pool water onto your lawn or pouring significant amounts of chlorinated water on grass may have detrimental effects on your lawn’s health.
Will Pool Water Kill Grass?
With the heightened pool activities in summer, it’s natural for pool owners to worry about the grass around their swimming pools. Here’s what you need to know about pool water and lawns.
Swimming pools contain chlorine and salts. These chemicals help keep bacteria and algae in check in the pool. However, in order to be fit for humans, the chlorine has to be significantly diluted before being released into the pool.
Pool water containing too much salt or chlorine is highly toxic to plants. While walking on the grass after a swim won’t cause any changes, emptying your pool onto your lawn may affect both the grass and the soil pH.
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Is Chlorinated Water Bad for my Lawn?
Like nickel, boron, zinc, and copper, chlorine is a good micronutrient for plants, but only in minimal quantities. If spilled in excessive amounts, it can harm your lawn in any of the following ways:
1. Killing Useful Bacteria
Chlorine is a disinfectant that can kill bacteria efficiently. It is used in pool water to control algae and bacteria. While it may not affect your lawn directly, your soil contains numerous bacteria beneficial to the plants on your lawn.
When you pour large amounts of chlorinated water onto your lawn, it kills the bacteria in the soil, depriving your grass of useful pathogens.
2. Change Soil pH
Chlorine is acidic. Pouring chlorinated water directly onto your lawn can affect your soil pH, making it unsuitable for your turf.
While you may not notice this immediately, it can cause your grass to die out over time and encourage weeds to grow as well. A good solution is to add lime to acidic soil after testing.
Also read: How to apply lime to your lawn
3. Inhibit Absorption of Nutrients
Too much salt or chlorinated water in your lawn creates trouble for the grassroots.
Since plants absorb water by osmosis, the high salt concentration can trigger the reverse process, making it hard for plants to absorb nutrients and water from the soil. This dehydrates your lawn and may end up killing it.
If you intend to install a pool in your backyard, you may want to plant grass suitable for handling high salt concentrations, such as Sir Walter Buffalo grass.
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4. Bleaches Grass
Undiluted chlorine is a bleaching agent. We use it daily to wash clothes or bleach surfaces we want to maintain white. This property of chlorine also works on grass and can cause it to change its color or kill it.
Pool water containing high amounts of chlorine is harmful to your lush green lawn. You’ll start to notice patches of bleached grass(pale yellow) around your pool, and if left unchecked, these patches can quickly die out.
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If you happen to spill undiluted chlorine onto your turf, make sure to rinse the area thoroughly with clean water to dilute the chlorine. Since it leaches quickly, the chlorine will disappear after a few watering sessions or after a heavy downpour.
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Can you Put Pool Water on Grass?
While it is not recommended, many places allow you to irrigate your grass using pool water, but only after the chlorine has dissipated to manageable amounts.
If you want to clean your pool or empty it out, make sure the chlorine is minimized to a level of 0.1 parts of chlorine per million of water.
It’s not easy to know which areas of your lawn will have high chlorine concentrations even after diluting the pool water. Especially if you have clay soil on your lawn, the salts and chlorine may collect and cause your soil to clump up.
So if you can avoid it, it’s best not to drain pool water on your property.
To reduce the chlorine concentration in pool water, you should ensure your pool pump is always running in order to mix up the water. This allows the chlorine to dissipate much faster than if the water is stagnant.
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How Can I Prevent my Grass From Being Affected by Pool Water?
Most homeowners don’t take into account the health of the grass around their pool.
First, you should avoid draining chlorinated water directly onto your lawn. It may cause the effects discussed above, which can kill your lawn. You can drain excess pool water into clean-out lines or sanitary sewers.
You should also consider lining your pool with pavers to create distance between the grass and the pool. This way, your lawn won’t be affected by pool splashes or dripping swimming trunks easily.
You should also dilute your pool water to 0.1ppm of chlorine before emptying it to ensure your grass isn’t affected by the chlorine.
Lastly, make sure you consult your pool professional as well as a lawn care expert on the best practices to make sure your grass thrives even around your pool.
They will provide helpful advice and recommend solutions to mitigate the effects of chlorine on your lawn.
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Ultimately, you don’t have to worry when kids jump into the pool and water splashes onto your lawn as this amount is not likely to affect your lawn.
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However, it’s still essential to carry out maintenance for both your pool and your lawn grass. After a long day of swimming, make sure you water the grass around your pool with clean tap water to reduce the concentration of chlorinated water from the splashes.
Make this a regular practice, and you won’t have to worry about chlorine affecting your lawn.