Does using chlorinated drinking water for irrigation have a negative impact on growing grass?

Asked February 5, 2013, 2:30 PM EST

I am designing a new water system for a summer camp with two wells and want to know if I need to implement a system that uses non-chlorinated water for irrigation of our sports fields. I need both wells to supply the camp with enough water so I can't use one well for irrigation alone. Does using chlorinated drinking water for irrigation have a negative impact on growing grass? If I have enough contact time between the chlorine and the water, will the chlorine dissipate enough so that using it won't hurt the grass?

New York

1 Response

It sounds like you will be adding the chlorine to the water before irrigating. If you follow the procedures for adding the appropriate level to the water to kill bacteria and other infectious agents, I doubt you would cause much harm to the grass, especially if you are using a sprinkler system. Chlorine will leave the water relatively quickly.
There are some factors you need to consider which you may need to determine in your location. You should know the characteristics of your soil, including pH before your start adding the chlorinated water. Once you start adding the water, inspect for changes. If you notice a change in growth in the grass, check the soil and pH in that area again to see if it could be due to the water. I doubt that it will cause any changes but you might have slightly different areas of the grass which are close to the tolerance for moisture, pH or other factors which the water application pushes over the edge. It may not be the chlorine. It could end up being in a particular spot that there is too much water when you irrigate.