You have heard, without a doubt, that water softening systems are getting bans, restrictions, and harsh regulations around the country. People who rely on these devices for treating the hard water plaguing their areas wonder – and for a good reason – whether softened water is suitable for their yards and gardens. Today, our landscaping experts in Potomac MD are here to shine some light on the problem. Irrigation season starts soon and you need to know how things stand.
Why is Softened Water Dangerous for Plants?
Water softeners use a process called “ion exchange” – they replace the hardness molecules in your water with sodium or potassium, rendering the water salty. Now, if you already know you should not feed your pets with softened water or fill your fish tank with it, it is only reasonable to consider that salt water is bad for plants as well. Our landscaping experts in Potomac MD emphasize the following aspects when it comes to landscape irrigation with softened water:
- Feeding plants saltwater fools them into thinking they took up more water than they had in reality, leading to dehydration, withering, and death;
- The accumulation of salt in the soil generates problems in the long run, as it can stunt the new growth of grasses and other plants;
- From an environmental point of view, salt infiltrating in the ground leads to the disruption of ecosystems;
- Too much salt in the soil can interfere with the fertilization programs implemented by your lawn care and landscaping company in Potomac MD;
- Even if potassium is a fertilizer, just like any element, when it is in excess, it can cause soil and plants’ damages that are hard to repair.
What Can You Do about Softened Water?
Softened water is, without a doubt, practical inside the house. For landscape maintenance in Potomac MD, however, our experts recommend you circumvent your soft water system altogether:
- Use the bypass valve installed together with the system to water the plants with untreated water coming from your main water line;
- Ask our landscape irrigation experts in Potomac MD about the individual spigots you can install outside the house. Such devices can help you use water from the mainline that has not reached the softening system.
In case you see lawn and landscape damages come spring, ask your local landscape contractor in Potomac MD to take some soil samples and guide you through the best landscape treatments and amendments to keep your lush green lawn and vegetation thriving all year long!