Grass and discharge from your water softener are not a great fit. Generally, the salt concentration within the backwash is simply too high for your lawn to stay nice and green.

Whether you're out and about or living in a remote area, if you're not connected to a regular sewage system it can be a hassle to get rid of the water softener backwash. You might be thinking about pouring it out over your lawn, however, be sure to read this article otherwise it might be the end for your well-maintained before you know it.

There is lots of anecdotal evidence about using discharge to water the lawn the outcomes however differ widely. Some say their patch is dead within days while others say it's as green as ever. As always the key is in the details, too much of anything is bad and the solution to pollution is dilution.

Spread out the backwash over large areas try to use it for watering your lawn as it's about to rain, or if it's a prolonged dry period dilute the salt concentration within the backwash by adding more saltless water.

So, Will Water Softener Backwash Kill Grass?

Yes eventually and without any precautions, watering your lawn with the backwash from your water softener, and that alone will probably kill your grass. As salt water drains into the soil and is partly taken up by the grassroots, the salt is filtered out by the soil and remains there. Each time you water your lawn with salt water the concentration of salt within your soil is increased.

But, Why Will Salt Water Kill Grass?

As the salt concentration within the soil beneath your lawn increases over time your grass will start to take up less and less water until it either stops taking up water or starts taking up both water and salt.

As you can imagine without water the grass will stop growing and will eventually dry out and die. However, even if it takes up both water and salt studies show that salt stress will reduce or halt cell growth in plants.

Lawn With Dead Grass

However, in general, grass is hard to kill and it will take a while for the salt concentrations to have any permanent effect. Therefore there is a possibility to reverse the effects.

The trick is to bring down the level of salt simply by adding water. How much water you might ask? That's hard to say, depending on the size of your brine tank and that of the patch of grass. The more salt on a smaller patch the more water you'll need.

Odds are a simple rain shower is enough, but if you're unsure just keep in mind to spread out the backwash over the largest area possible and to thoroughly rinse your lawn with water if there are long periods without rain or as soon as any dry patches start to appear.

Is Softened Water Bad For Grass?

Although softened water contains salt, generally it's nowhere near any concentrations that will hurt your grass. Regardless, if you are using a water softener on site you would want to avoid using the water from your water softener.

The sheer volume needed for watering your lawn will use up a huge capacity of your water softener system, thereby wasting the salt that is used to recharge the system and possibly reducing the effectiveness of softening water that is used elsewhere.

If you don't have any draining system for your water softener and are using water softener discharge to water your lawn you're just putting yourself into a vicious circle as the process of decreasing the salt concentration in the soil of your lawn will just produce more backwash which in turn will increase the salt concentration if you use it to water your grass.

Recommended Reading

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What Happens If You Do Not Add Salt To Your Water Softener?

Without any salt, your water softener will no longer be able to soften water. Unless your water is iron-rich this should not have any permanent consequences.

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Will Water Softener Salt Damage My Concrete?

Water softener salt poses no direct threat to a concrete floor or pavement. However, it can accelerate deterioration of poor quality concrete in colder conditions.