soil and plant damage

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by richard and maria, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. richard and maria

    richard and maria Member

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    brooklyn,new york,USA
    A neighbors pool busted and gallons of chlorinated water was dumped into our vegetable gardens.Is the soil ruined and can any future crop be salvagable?Any suggestions would be appreciated,thanks richard and maria.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    You'd think it would damage the current occupants but time will tell about that. Since chlorine is an activator of chemicals I'd wonder about toxic conditions in the soil being produced as a result of this dousing. You could wait some months or even a year, for it to flush out and then see if New York Cooperative Extension can help you sample and test the soil for likely problems. A bunch of new healthy weeds popping up would certainly signal that the plot could again support plant growth, the question I would still have even then would be if there were toxic metals or other contaminants (released by the chlorine) present that root crops for instance might accumulate.
     
  3. richard and maria

    richard and maria Member

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    thanks ron,I also spoke to the state health dept. and they informed me that hopefully the pool was not full of certain chemical activators that can be toxic in large quantities,but then again there were kids playing in the pool when it happened,and you know kids sometimes ingest that water.I guess time will tell and I will eventually test my soil.
     
  4. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    You've raised an interesting question. I wouldn't expect that the chlorine levels in the pool would be toxic to humans - there were people swimming in there! The chlorine treats water for algae and stuff. The water from your garden hose is probably chlorinated too. Would your city engineering staff have any suggestions? Or maybe a pool maintenance company?
     
  5. richard and maria

    richard and maria Member

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    I will find out in a few weeks , I am sending a soil sample to cornell university labs and we will find out just how toxic the soil is.Keep all those interested posted,thanks for your replies and suggestions.
     
  6. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi,

    what an annoying thing to happen!

    I really do not think that you have anything to worry about. If the water was safe to swim in, it cannnot be very toxic. As growing4it says drinking water is chlorinated although at a lower concentration. Any chlorine in the water will be dissipated very rapidly (say well within 48hours). Quite a lot will just come out into the air. The rest will bind to the soil particles and be neutralised.

    Occasionally I use our swimming pool water to water the garden. However, I try not to get it on the leaves as I think it can cause some leaf burn.

    Probably all salad leaves and some other salad products that you buy are washed in heavily chlorinated water - another point that should help to reassure you.

    I actually do not think that sending off a sample for analysis will help. Your soil will naturally contain a high chlorine content ( as chloride) and any analysis - certainly after a day or so will not be able to distinguish between the poolwater chlorine and the soil chloride.

    I would happily eat any vegetables from your garden (except beetroot - which I hate!!).

    I hope this gives you some reassurance.
    Good luck,
    BrianO
     
  7. richard and maria

    richard and maria Member

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    thanks for the reassurance the soil sample will be for curiosity purposes and I am still going to consume anything that still grows.How about those Spaniards,about time,ole
     
  8. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    (maybe better not to say that to someone from Portugal....)

    I'd be interested to see what the soil tests show up; I'm leery of using chlorinated anything around my plants, and when I lived in areas that chlorinated their water, I used to collect rain for use on the gardens.
     
  9. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Lorax,

    In general, if I had the choice, I guess I would choose non-chlorinated water over chlorinated water as well, but in almost all cases I suspect any advantage would be nonexistent or negligible. Of course a major advantage of rainwater over "tapwater" is the low levels of all dissolved minerals, making it better for acid-loving plants, bogplants etc.

    [ Actually for once most Portuguese supported Spain in the European Cup Final -it was the Germans who knocked Portugal out of the competition!! ]

    Boa Sorte
    BrianO
     
  10. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    It's probably just me and an inherent suspicion of chlorine I've had since the advanced labs in Organic Chemistry. My plants seem to do well on rain; then again, I live near the edge of a rainforest so they are mostly accustomed to it.

    (Interesting to know that, given past rivalries both on and off the pitch. I'm just doing my little happy dance over the result of the Copa Santander Libertadores. Ecuador por siempre!!!)
     
  11. NiftyNiall

    NiftyNiall Active Member 10 Years

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    Sodium thiosulphate,"Thio" will neutralize the chlorine by turning it into salt. Chlorine is very toxic to freshwater aquatic organisms, and "Thio" is what most municipalities use to neutralize it, when they have major leaks, or the situation that you have had. Thio, even finds its way into many food products. Many pool products also have Bromine, that would be more of a persistent problem in a veg garden, in high concentrations it can cause aberrant growth.
     

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