Can Swimming Pool Water Damage Your Grass?

Prevent Chlorinated Water From Damaging Your Lawn

A swimming pool is a great addition to your property. On the other hand, you may be concerned about the effects of the chlorinated water on your lawn as your children splash water, run around the lawn, or when you choose to drain the pool to undertake specific repairs.

For starters, it stands to reason that the increased exposure to one element, chlorine, may cause chemical imbalances in the soil that rob your grass of vital nutrients for optimal growth. But, is this scientifically true?

Chlorine Has No Damaging Effect On Grass In Small Amounts

Reports suggest that chlorine has no known damaging effects on grass in small amounts. While there are some elements in the periodic table, that when added to the soil, tend to lock up some essential nutrients needed by the grass, causing it to look deficient. Good news is, chlorine is not one of them. Most soils are capable of withstanding chlorine at high acid levels.

So your kids splashing water on your lawn as they get in and out of the pool is not a cause for concern. In fact, it is actually recommended to use excess pool water on your grass as an effort to conserve water in your community.

Flooding Your Grass Is Not A Good Idea

If you are looking to discharge the pool water into your yard to carry out periodic maintenance, perhaps due to paint chipping on the pool walls, cracks, or equipment failure, then flooding becomes a concern.

The problem with draining your pool in the yard, if permitted by your local water regulatory laws, is that it will quickly reach its saturation level and increase the risk of flooding your lawn, drowning the roots of your grass, and attracting mosquitoes. Flooding is especially likely to occur in flat, level ground.

You can reduce the risk of flooding by:

  • Moving the hose to different sections of your yard

  • Draining the pool at intervals – even if it takes several days

If you have a salt water pool, you should follow the same steps, and remember to saturate the ground with fresh water after each draining session to lower the salinity levels.

Final note

If you plan on draining your pool, you should prepare by neutralising the pH. Stop adding chlorine and other chemicals for several days, and only drain the water after chlorine tests show that the level is zero or close to it.

Also balance the pH level as highly acidic water – in large volumes – can destroy your plants and landscaping.

Lastly, keep in mind that there will be some runoff into side gutters that feed municipal storm drains that in turn drain into local water bodies. Since storm drains don’t have an extensive filtering and water cleaning system like sanitary sewer water treatment, you must filter and clean the pool water, and clear the yard of any debris before draining it. You might also need a permit if the water leaves your property.


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