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Old 08-03-2008, 06:41 PM
Location: Southern California
421 posts, read 2,507,320 times
Reputation: 272


Can anyone tell me if it would be ok for me to use the green (3 months of no filtering) water from my pool on my plants? Its full of live bug larvae on top ! but I'm sure they'd die in the heat.

I just don't know if the chemicals in the water would be bad for the plants? Someone told me all the chlorine has probably evaporated but the other chemicals stay in the water...

I hate to wate all that water when the poor plants are thirsty...what do you think?
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:53 PM
Location: Middle Tennessee
133,695 posts, read 68,612,857 times
Reputation: 120731
The only thing I know of is chlorine will damage some plants. I have read that it will damage tomatoes. Now if you have living bugs then I would think that watering landscape flowers would not be hurt. Perhaps you have a county ag agent near by who can assits you with more and accurate info.
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:04 PM
Location: Southern California
421 posts, read 2,507,320 times
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Thats a great point about the bugs Nomadicus! How could they live if the chemicals are so toxic??

Someone at Home Depot told me that all the chlorine in the water evaporates within a few days so I'm sure theres none in there after 3 months. He said not to do it because of all the "other chemicals" that are added to the water...I've never had a pool before so I don't know what the chemicals are...?
But it just occured to me that humans drink the pool water (by accident) and are ok!

I bought a chemical testing kit for pools but I don't know what levels are ok for plants!
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:11 PM
Location: Middle Tennessee
133,695 posts, read 68,612,857 times
Reputation: 120731
Go to the pool section of a box store and see what they sell. I've forgot. There's not that many. I remember of only two and odds are they are both gone. There's to many giving advice these days that don't know a mountain from a mole hill IMHO. What I do remember is that those two you never want to mix except in the pool.
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:14 PM
2,896 posts, read 5,593,036 times
Reputation: 4988
The chlorine has long since dissipated hence the yucky green water. What you will want to check is the PH. Too low and you will be dumping acidic water on your plants. You will have to bring it up with some soda ash or baking soda. A PH between 7.0 (neutral) and 7.6 should be just fine. You can take a bucket full and try it on a plant that is kind of out of the way to see what kind of reaction you get (probably none) and go from there. When I was in the pool business and draining a pool for maintenance I would balance the pool water out for watering the customers grass and even some of their neighbors if they wished. Worked out well and I felt it was better than just letting it run into the sewer system.

What I do remember is that those two you never want to mix except in the pool
that would be liquid chlorine and muratic acid...which instantly produces highly toxic chlorine gas

Last edited by da jammer; 08-03-2008 at 07:27 PM..
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:16 PM
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 48,426,780 times
Reputation: 26164
Probably somewhere in your area is a water testing lab and you could take a sample of the pool water to them and have it tested for content. When you have the printout, consult with a horticulturalist (or do a google.) But I'd tend to agree with Nomadicus that if the bugs are living just fine then the plants won't be affected. Cheers!
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:48 PM
Location: Out there somewhere...
36,549 posts, read 38,616,722 times
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Rule of thumb, if you wouldn't drink it or give it to your animals, then I wouldn't give it to my plants. Pool water changes the normal chemistry for what mother nature intended for plants to survive. Green pool water is the worst.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:27 PM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
15,039 posts, read 44,830,424 times
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NO! Don't!

Chlorine degrades into salts. NaCl, CaCl, etc. There is also baking soda in a lot of pool water as a buffering agent, a potent source of sodium. Calcium leaches from the marcite and is added to a starting pool.

When I first bought our house in Florida, I wondered why one area of the lawn would only grow weeds. It was where the pool water had been dumped by the previous owner the first time his pool turned green.

You can rescue that pool water for the pool. Throw in three or four bags of flocculating shock, and four gallons of liquid chlorine, and enough acid to turn the pH a bit acid, run the pump for half a day, turn it off and let the pool sit for two days. The water will be crystal clear and all the green will be at the bottom. Vaccuum out the gunk. An alternate method is to use less shock/flocculant and run the pool pump for two days. You'll need to be constantly cleaning the filter. If it a cartridge paper filter, clean it over the most weedy walk using a hose. It'll kill them for a while. Better yet, hire a pro to open the pool.

You need guidance, panks. You are almost making a bunch of beginner homeowner mistakes, like the load-bearing wall issue. Ask the pros in each field of expertise. Unless a gardener has a pool, they can only guess, and the above guesses would have poisoned your soil. A call to a pool store would have provided a quick, decisive answer.

Good luck, and remember that local pros are generally far better than strangers in the net, exchanging glancing opinions, and so on.
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:18 PM
8,416 posts, read 31,990,863 times
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I agree dont do it.

We just did the bleach when we didnt have the shock stuff. Worked fine.

Those bugs are mosquitoes. KILL EM!
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:02 PM
Location: Peoria, AZ
162 posts, read 329,917 times
Reputation: 149
haha... Nitram's rule of thumb is a bunch of baloney. "If you wouldn't drink it, don't give it to your plants"... now let's reverse the logic: I use manure to fertilize plants. Would you drink manure water?
Plants have different requirements than humans and animals so let's cut the BS.
Also Harry says that chlorine degrades into salts. that's not accurate. Free Chlorine just evaporates into the air, it's the bleach (Sodium hypochlorite) that is the source of the chlorine, so the free chlorine evaporates, and you're left with Sodium chloride and Calcium chloride.
Another source of salts in that water comes from the PH balancing chemicals. Acid crystals turn into sulphuric acid and salt, and I think the same is true for PH increasers (meaning they increase salt levels).
I do agree that those salts could be harmful to plants, but if there are bugs in the pool, I really doubt it would hurt the plants.

There's usually another chemical in the pool: Cyanuric acid. While that might sound like a poison, from what I've read, it's not very likely to harm plant life.

The important thing in my opinion is to balance the PH. Here in the desert the soil is extremely alkaline, so acidifying the water actually helps quite a bit. If the soil where you are tends to be acidic, you could always sweeten it up with a little lime, just don't over do it either way. Personally I'm doing a lot of research to figure out a way to reuse my pool water for watering my trees and garden, because here water is expensive.
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