Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Using Pool Water in Your Garden


I was all excited to write my first Works for Me Wednesday post over at Rocks in My Dryer, and then I saw that today is "What DOESN'T Work for Me".... Well, I've got plenty of those!

Most of the time what tops that list is trying to rationalize with a "tween" or expecting to keep a clean house with three boys (ha!). Also, my recent " 'no poo" experiment isn't going so well, either, but I digress.

Today, it's all about the pool. Now, before y'all cringe at the thought of using chemical-laden pool water on your plants, let me assure you that any chlorine or other dangerous agents are long since gone from our lovely swamp pool. Ralph is usually really good at keeping up with the time-consuming chore of pool ownership, but during the winter, we put the pool in hibernation, and somehow didn't manage to get a cover for it. That usually wouldn't be too much of a problem, but with the fires in SoCal this past year, along with the hurricane-force (seriously, that's how the Weather Channel described them!) winds, everything from ash to our neighbors' tree trimmings found their way to the bottom of the pool, along with some very unlucky gophers. (I'll spare you any pictures of the results.) After trying unsuccessfully many times to filter out the crud along with the newly-blooming algae, we made the decision to start from scratch and take the drastic measure to drain the pool.

Now, we have quite a bit of grass in our backyard, and unfortunately the sprinkler system needs to be repaired. That is just simply not in our budget right now, so currently it looks like we live on a savanna with nothing but dry brush and foxtails (not good for the dogs!). So we thought, hey, we have 27,000 gallons of water we need to get rid of, why not drain it on to the grass? Ooh, we are sooo green! (And yes, I realize that having a pool in the first place isn't very 'green'; please don't send me nasty comments about how un-environmental I am.) Our decision made, first thing Saturday morning Ralph hooked up all the pumps and hoses and started moving them around to various parts of the yard.

The process was actually going quite well, until, unbeknownst to us, the drain in the back yard leading to the sewer clogged. At about 8:45 on Sunday night, our next-door neighbor came knocking on our door. "Do you have a burst pipe?" Ummm.... "Because there's an awful lot of water coming into our yard from your house." Uh-oh. He brought us over to show us the foot-deep lake that used to be his yard. He was worried that if any more water came in, the addition to his house might start to get water-logged. The water level was dangerously close to his top step. Yikes! We assured him that we had stopped the draining for the evening, and no more water was being pumped out. We were all a little worried, though, because his yard is at the bottom of a downslope from our yard. Water could still be moving in his house's direction. We all spent a restless night wondering what would happen to the water level. Even though I assured them we would take care of any carpet-cleaning (and possibly landscaping?) bills, I knew we were all hoping the water wouldn't go any higher than the top step.

Luckily, the next day, the water had never quite reached the house, and our neighbor told us it had receded to just an inch or two. We asked what we could do to help, and he waved us away with a smile, telling us not to worry about a thing. (Thank God for great neighbors!) Even though it was only a tiny gesture, we sent the boys over to do weeding for him; it was the least we could do!

Moral of the story? Draining a large pool into a yard with a clogged sewer drain does NOT work for me! Although I have to say, the grass is looking a little greener today...

No comments: