Will Pool Water Kill Your Lawn
We are in the thick of another HOT Aussie Summer! Here are our top tips for keeping your lawn in top condition during our extended dry periods.
DURING SUMMER ANYONE WITH A BACKYARD POOL WILL TELL YOU IT DEFINITELY GETS A WORKOUT!
With all the splashing and fun happening, it’s natural for any Lawnthusiast to wonder:
“Will the chemicals in the pool damage – or even worse, kill – my lawn?”
The answer to this question depends on what pool water you have, knowing the impact the different types (salt or chlorinated) can have on grass and how to prevent damage.
IF YOUR POOL IS CHLORINATED
Most people already know that chlorine is a harmful chemical when undiluted (thank you, high school science class!). However as the chemical is significantly diluted when mixed with your pool water, the short answer is that water that splashes onto your lawn from your pool should not kill it.
But it’s not exactly that simple!
While small splashes and wet foot trails shouldn’t harm your grass, it’s a different story when it comes to emptying your pool. Because you will be emptying a large volume of pool water onto your lawn at this time, before you start you need to ensure that the chlorine levels are no higher than 0.1 parts per million. Any higher may cause damage to your grass due to the sheer volume of chemical.
Undiluted chlorine, on the other hand, is a harsh chemical that can easily damage plants and grass. Should you spill any undiluted chlorine on your lawn (such as when you are adjusting the pH levels of your pool, for example), you should dilute it immediately by watering the area thoroughly with fresh water.
So the real answer to the question “will chlorinated pool water damage my lawn” is no – providing you dilute, dilute, dilute!
IF YOUR POOL IS SALT WATER
If you are lucky enough to live near the beach, you will know that salt and grass are not best friends. So if you have a salt water pool, you may find that excess quantities of salt can have an effect on your lawn’s health.
According to Lawn Solutions Australia, high levels of salt can stifle root growth and prevent nutrients and water from being absorbed by your grass. Salt will also remain on your grass and in your soil until it is washed away by fresh water.
Therefore while occasional splashes from your pool should not be too big a concern, if salt builds up on your grass it could cause damage over time. To avoid any potential damage, we recommend you give your lawn a quick water after a big day in the pool!
If you are emptying your pool water, you should also water your lawn afterwards to remove any excess salt and, as with chlorine, if any salt spills onto your lawn it’s a good idea to wash it away with fresh water.
WHICH TURF IS BEST FOR YOUR POOL AREA?
In recent times, there is an emerging trend towards installing turf right up to the pool’s edge. This achieves a softer look that won’t burn bare feet like hot pavers can! If you love this look, it pays to do your research on what turf varieties would best suit your pool area.
If you have a chlorinated pool, any type of lawn turf should be able to survive and thrive if you remember to dilute, dilute, dilute!
If you have a salt water pool, Sir Walter DNA Certified turf would be a good fit as it is very salt tolerant compared to other varieties and any patches of damage will also repair much faster (should you accidentally forget to water the salt away).
So Lawnthusiasts, you can now relax in the knowledge that your pool water is unlikely to damage or kill your grass from everyday splashes. Providing you follow our tips when emptying your pool or after a spill, your beloved lawn and pool can happily co-exist.
If however you’re ever in doubt, just remember to water it out!
Visit the NSW Fire & Rescue site to find out more about pool chemical safety and storage.