Will Swimming Pool Water Kill a Tree?

Written by j. lang wood
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Will Swimming Pool Water Kill a Tree?
Trees are often found near swimming pools, but pool water can be bad for their health. (Swimming Pool image by PinkSkyPhotos from Fotolia.com)

If you have a swimming pool, you may discover times when the water level gets too high, making it necessary to drain some of the water from the pool. If pool water spills onto nearby plants and trees, the chemicals used to sanitise pool water can harm landscape plantings and even kill trees.

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Swimming Pool Chemicals

The traditional type of swimming pool uses chlorine or bromine to kill bacteria and algae that find their way into the pool during normal use. Chlorine is the same component used in household bleach. If you poured bleach on your plants and trees, you would not expect a good outcome. So avoid using swimming pool water to irrigate trees around your pool. If a small amount of pool water splashes onto nearby trees and plants, it will not hurt them, according to the website Spectrum Analytic.

Ionised Pools

A different method of sanitising pool water does not use chemicals like those in traditional swimming pools. A pool ioniser applies low-voltage DC current to copper electrodes. The copper ions attempt to jump from one electrode to the other but are suspended in the water. These copper ions invade the cell walls of bacteria and algae, killing them. This type of water, which doesn't contain large amounts of chemicals, could be used to irrigate plants and trees on your property.

Untreated Pools

As small pools for children are filled with ordinary tap water, this water is suitable for use on trees and garden plants. If no additional chemicals are added to the water, it is safe to use landscaping. It's a good idea to cover a small pool, however, so mosquitoes and other insects do not use it as a breeding ground. Bacteria can also grow in standing water.

Rainwater in Pools

Small pools such as children's paddling pools can serve a dual purpose--by catching rainwater for irrigating trees and plants on your property. Rainwater is free of the chlorine and other chemicals that municipal water treatment facilities use to sanitise tap water. Rainwater is also salt-free, with an acidic pH that makes it easier for plants to absorb nutrients, according to the website Urban Garden Solutions.

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