back washed pool water


May 28, 2010
I live in the country on 40 acres, inground 16X34 kidney bean gunite, Hayward pump. This is our first pool came with the house. My wife doesn't want to use the discharged water for plants and grass. My thoughts are, currently I discharge the water behind the shop, that is where the previous owners had it going. Anyway the grass back there is thick and green, thus requiring the grass to be cut twice a week. Can I catch this discharged water and use other places in the yard. I do understand it will take catching it and moving to where I want to use. I have a tractor and a trailer so I can go to the local Farm store and buy a tank. Any thoughts.

thanks in advnace



LifeTime Supporter
Jan 11, 2009
Cupertino, CA
Welcome to TFP! :wave:

It's generally not a problem to use backwash or drained water for irrigation. I remember somebody who needed to drain a bunch of water to lower excessive CYA; she plumbed her lawn irrigation to draw from the pool, and used her city-water irrigation allowance to refill the pool. Didn't seem to cause any issues. And the evidence of the well-watered grass where it discharges now ought to help convince her.

There are only two things I've seen people mention, that would be worth repeating.
- If your pool contains any copper, that could be a problem. This is unlikely unless you use pool chems with added copper; HTH in particular seems to have started doing that.
- If you have added 30ppm borates, then some more sensitive plants will not tolerate it. (Actually "burned" was what the guy reported...)



May 28, 2010
The copper should not be a problem as I have adopted the BBB taking care of the pool method, and usr the chemicals that most have described from the mega marts. And let me say I have spent less over the last month than the two previous. I just think I needed some reinforcement from the community.



Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
Stephens City, VA
At first my lawn treatment guy was shocked (haha...punny!) that I discharged my waste/backwash into the yard. He asked where..I said, um, you're standing where it comes out. Thick, green, few weeds and the fastest growing spot in the yard.

I did have some issues with my potted plants though using pool water...they got pretty dry and brittle. I wonder if over time the area just becomes adjusted to the soil contents. Who knows.


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
North Central Texas
If you use salt and backwash frequently that could pose a problem for some plants with salt building up in the soil. I backwash to my woods and have never had any issues even when the water has been pretty heavy chlorinated. My usual is to let the chlorine get down to the bottom of the range (when I can) before backwashing then bring the chlorine back up to the top of the range, right after backwashing. I usually keep it at the top of the range.

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