ceebee
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getting pool water into garden

I have an organic veggie garden on one corner of yard. I was thinking of planting another simple garden on the other side of the yard (i.e corn, and other things that take up a lot of space like watermelon, pumpkins, etc) My issue is that the pool filter setup is in that area, and every time we backwash the D.E. filter, the waste water shoots out into this area I wish to plant in. I don't need to backwash the filter often (once every 1-2 weeks and even less, depending on how dirty the pool is), but my concern is that the pool water (i.e chlorine, D.E material from filter) is going into be absorbed by the plants, not only making it non-organic, but unsafe as well. Is this something I should be concerned about, and avoid planting in this area, or does it not matter. I would plan to water every day anyway with fresh well water, but figured I'd ask some more experienced gardeners if I'd be doing something that would cause the plantings to be unhealthy. thanks

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rainbowgardener
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Many of us water our gardens with water from the hose/tap, chlorinated water.

I don't know that using the hose water is ideal and I just got my second rain barrel, so once it is attached, I shouldn't need to use hose water any more.

But lots have plants have done just fine being watered from the hose. Chlorine evaporates out pretty quickly.
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The Helpful Gardener
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Rainbow is right about chlorine, and DE IS organic and used for a lot things like insect control in the organic garden already, so no worries there...

DE is really calcium carbonate for the most part, so the carbon content locks up the few nasty chemicals that might be there and increases the Cation Exchange Capacity of your soils (the ability to hold nutrients), so this will actually help your soils and plants.

I would use a little epsom salts in your watering right after backwashing, to make sure the calcium remains plant available and doesn't crust up (biology needs a good balance of magnesium and calcium to make it accessible), but otherwise I see no big issue here. Simply water well after bumping and backwashing to dilute the chlorine, and the plants should actually be better (and as chlorine IS naturally occuring I think you get to keep your organic status as well... :D )

HG
Scott Reil

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soil
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one thing to note though that pool grade DE is not the same as the DE we should use in our gardens and for pets.
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applestar
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:lol: I was scrolling down to say exactly the same thing, but soil got the words in ahead of me 8) :lol:

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gixxerific
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I would be vary careful about doing this. Maybe try a little at at time if at all.

A friend of mine has a garden and his neighbor likes to dump their pool water right into his garden area. He tell me it kills a lot of things when this happens. Too many chemicals I would imagine. Or too high of a concentration.

I should say this is a guy I used to work with so I don't know all the details. It could be all the above or it might just possibly be flooding his garden and suffocating his plants. All I know is he was not at all happy about the outcome every time.

The Helpful Gardener
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The difference between pool grade and garden grade DE is that the former is heated, making it harden. This can make it damaging to worms, and any manner of other insects we might want to keep like ground beetles, but chemically it is not an issue...

As for the chlorine, it can be a very negative factor on soil biologies, no doubt, but if we can find ways to slow the movement to soil, it can gas off...

Here's the best bet; a holding pond that allows the DE to settle out, and the chlorine to gas off. Even just a small bermed area before it gets to the veggie garden will make for much less issue where things are growing; I am thinking even a thirty gallon garbage can buried in the ground that the backwash pipe empties into would work out well. Just knock the bottom out, allowing the water to pass into ground water (might be some overflow, but even that would be better than dumping it straight into the garden...)

HG
Scott Reil

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