Can Pool Water Kill Grass?

There’s nothing better than having a beautiful garden, with a swimming pool full of water, surrounded by a soft green lawn.

During the summer months, this can be a life-saver from the heat of the sun, and you can spend days chilling under the shade, laying on the lawn, and then dipping into the water to cool down.

However, having this beautiful and appealing pool and lawn combination requires some maintenance, as you have to make sure that both the pool and the lawn are well-maintained.

For the pool this means keeping it clean and balanced, for the lawn, it means making sure the grass receives the right amount of water, the right nutrients, and the right care.

Can pool water kill grass?

But what happens if you accidentally get pool water on your grass? Water is good for grass (in the right amount), but pool water isn’t exactly pure. So can it kill the grass?

It isn’t uncommon to see the grass surrounding a pool be yellowish and dying out, and most of the time, this could be because it is getting regularly affected by the pool water. Does this confirm that pool water kills grass?

Well, it’s not as simple as that. Yes, sometimes pool water can kill grass, and you should therefore avoid it splashing on the surrounding area of the lawn.

But sometimes, pool water is completely fine, and there’s no problem with it getting on the grass. So yeah, it depends. Mainly on the type of pool water, so let’s take a look at that!

Chlorinated pool water:

Pools that are full of chlorinated water contain the chlorine chemical, which can be very harmful and toxic when undiluted. In fact, if the pool has too much chlorine, it can be harmful to those swimming in it, as it can cause chlorine poisoning. But does this mean it can also be harmful to the grass?

Well, if the chlorine levels within the pool are well-balanced and safe for humans, then a few drops of the water on the grass won’t do any harm. You can come out of the pool and leave a trail of wet footsteps and splashes on the lawn, and it should remain as green and healthy as ever.

However, if you drop large amounts of the chlorinated pool water onto the lawn, then the chlorine chemical might start to become too much for the grass, and might cause damage.

So if you start unloading buckets of pool water onto the grass, then the grass will eventually become damaged, and might even start to die out. So technically, the pool water would then be killing the grass off.

The general rule is that if you’re emptying your pool, or unloading large amounts of the pool water onto the grass, then the chlorine levels in the water should be lower than 0.1 parts per million.

So basically, there shouldn’t be a lot of chlorine at all. Otherwise, it becomes damaging to the grass, and to other plants around the pool.

As for completely undiluted chlorine, that is 100% harmful and will kill the grass, without any doubt. Undiluted chlorine is very harmful and toxic.

If you do accidentally spill some undiluted chlorine on your grass around the pool, something that can happen when you’re dealing with the pH balance of the water and in the midst of doing things, then you should immediately water the area thoroughly, to dilute it as much as you can despite it already having touched the grass. And then you hope for the best.

Basically, well-diluted chlorine pool water will not harm the grass. But if it is undiluted, or it is large amounts of pool water, then your grass is in danger.

Saltwater pool:

Okay, now let’s take a look at whether pool water can kill grass or not if the pool is a saltwater pool. After all, with chlorinated pools, it’s the chlorine chemical that can end up killing the grass, and saltwater pools don’t have this!

Saltwater pools are, well, pools with salt water. Usually, you can find them near beaches or coastal areas, and they are very fancy, very nice to swim in, and don’t irritate your eyes as much because there is no need for chlorine.

The problem is, salt and grass don’t get along. In fact, according to Lawn Solutions Australia, high levels of salt can completely stifle root growth and prevent nutrients and water from being absorbed, therefore causing the grass to die very quickly.

So if you have a saltwater pool, you might notice that the surrounding area of the lawn is not doing great and that the patches of grass that get regularly splashed on, are dying out.

So the answer, basically, is yes. Saltwater pool water can absolutely kill grass, and cause a lot of damage to your lawn.

The way to avoid this is to prevent the salt from the water from remaining on the grass for too long. So if you do end up spilling saltwater on the grass, make sure you immediately rinse the salt away, by using a hose or similar to “wash” the grass. This will minimize the damage, and hopefully will allow you to save your grass from dying!

How to prevent the grass around the pool from dying:

We’ve explained how different types of pool water can affect grass, and how they can cause the grass to become damaged and die.

But this doesn’t mean that you can’t have grass surrounding your pool. After all, a soft green lawn is the best option for sunbathing and relaxing after a good drip in the water!

Instead, we’ll give you some tips to prevent the grass surrounding the pool area from dying out:

  • Make sure you use the right type of pool water, with the right levels of chemical components.
  • Minimize the amount of water that ends up on the grass. A common solution is to have a paved area around the border of the pool, in order to separate it from the grass.
  • Get into the habit of rinsing the grass around the pool with fresh water, at least once or twice a week.

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