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Old 06-13-2018, 08:42 PM   #1
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can I use warm bathwater directly on my lawn?


During my home project, I have installed a valve to cut the bathwater to my lawn.

I have started to use the bathwater by directly piping them into my lawn, a different area each time. After few days, it seems something wrong on this. These grasses are not as good as other parts. They are yellowish than other area. I am wondering does the bathwater's temperature matter here? The water is directly from the shower, it is still warm when it gets the lawn. The grass cannot stand that warm water?

Anybody can tell?

thanks,
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:53 PM   #2
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Re: can I use warm bathwater directly on my lawn?


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Originally Posted by diy001 View Post
During my home project, I have installed a valve to cut the bathwater to my lawn.

I have started to use the bathwater by directly piping them into my lawn, a different area each time. After few days, it seems something wrong on this. These grasses are not as good as other parts. They are yellowish than other area. I am wondering does the bathwater's temperature matter here? The water is directly from the shower, it is still warm when it gets the lawn. The grass cannot stand that warm water?

Anybody can tell?

thanks,
I used to divert washer water to water a lawn during a drought, but it had a mild biodegradable backpacker's soap. Nowadays you'd need to check with the city regarding gray water.

Of course heat can hurt a lawn. But how hot is it?
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:05 PM   #3
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Re: can I use warm bathwater directly on my lawn?


The water temperature might be a factor but so might be the chemicals in soaps, shampoos and conditioners. One would think their concentration would be fairly diluted but if you are dumping a shower's worth on a small area at a time it might be enough to impact the grass.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:16 PM   #4
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Re: can I use warm bathwater directly on my lawn?


then how do I know are there chemicals in the soaps not suitable for my lawn?
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:27 PM   #5
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Re: can I use warm bathwater directly on my lawn?


You will need to conduct laboratory tests, typically done with very small patches of different species of grass (or individual grass plants) and samples of bath water with different soaps. Then observe over several days for each batch of samples to see what kills the grass.

Lots of research is needed.
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Stick to your lawn watering schedule until it really starts to pour. After the storm you have only the same number of rest days you always had and then you need to start watering again.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:09 PM   #6
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Re: can I use warm bathwater directly on my lawn?


Your problem may not be the specific chemicals in the bathwater, but what the bathwater does to the pH of your soil. Grasses and any other plants prefer pH in a certain range and you want to keep your soil in that range for best results.

Most soaps I'm going to guess would be strongly alkaline.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:54 PM   #7
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Re: can I use warm bathwater directly on my lawn?


pH is easy to test. Look in a hardware store.

I applaud you for wanting to save water. You can catch the water that is wasted while you get the water the right temperature. A gentle soap might work. But, I'm sure you can understand why grass might not want to be perfumed, sleek, no frizz, detangled or shined!
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:51 PM   #8
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Re: can I use warm bathwater directly on my lawn?


Chuck and Nik pretty much answered the question, but I'm going to add some information because I really researched this subject when the town announced they were lowering our minimum monthly water amount by 1,000 gallons (down from 2,000 gallons) and the price increase if you went over the 1,000 gallons per month. I love my lawn and plants, but I'll let them die before I paid the new jacked up water costs.

This takes research, but it does pay off in the long run. The average water temperature of a shower is 105 degrees Fahrenheit to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Based on where you live, taps water from a city’s main is 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a big difference, so yes, you can kill your grass with hot water. I've used hot water to kill the grass and weeds that grow between the spaces on my concrete driveway.

Have you spoke to your town’s water department to find out what’s in the water when it leaves the plant? Some water companies release content reports on their website. It will show pH levels, chlorine, fluoride, antifungal and other chemicals.

pH levels play a huge role in the life of anything that grows in the ground. Greywater is going to alter the pH level a bit. First, you have to know the pH levels of your soil. Second, the recommended pH level for the plant or grass. Many times it's not the pH level you have to worry about, it's other products.

You didn’t mention your grass type, but since you're in MA, it's not Centipede or St. Augustine. It will not tolerate phosphorus (which is contained in some detergents and soaps). I piped the water from my washing machine (just know what’s in your laundry detergent), as well as the water coming from the gutters.

I don’t have a system in place for the tub, just a bucket. Based on pH levels in my soil, I couldn’t use the water until the shampoo and especially the hair conditioner (a form of grease or oil) had gone down the drain, then I would block the drain to collect the water. My soap, Dove, was mild so there was no problem there.

I believe your water temperature is your main problem, but let's cover other bath chemicals as well.

Alkaline is a liquid products pH level. Citric acid or sodium hydroxide are used to alter the pH of the product. Citric acid decreases the pH, making it more acidic, while the sodium hydroxide increases the pH, making it more alkaline. You would be surprised where some of those products in bath products are.

Triglyceride is a fat or oil. Triglycerides are not soluble in water. It’s like pouring oil onto your grass. It's contained in most hair conditions. This is the reason most people don’t use dish water, due to the greasy pots and pans.

I don’t mean to discourage you, grey water is an excellent way to conserve water, just know what’s in the water that enters your home and how your bath products alter the water. Test soil pH levels, and grey water pH level. Catch some of the water outside and test it.

I lived in MA for 10 years. I miss that dark, rich soil in Lynnfield, MA. Now I'm back home in SC and our famous red dirt.

I live about 30 minutes from a university which has a large agriculture department. The reading material and reports from the university online are endless and tailored for this area. If you have a university or local agriculture extension office service, use it. Years of research go into those reports that cover pesticides, water, soil content and indigenous plants. I believe MA has Natural Resources Conservation Services.

Let that water cool down and make sure the water doesn't pool or stand, as that could cause rot.
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