Water - just H2O or more?
Water is water - or is it?
Depending on where it comes from will affect what's in it.
It may be the cause of your lawn problem.
This is the water supplied by either the local authority (The Water department of the Ajuntamiento) or a private local water company (e.g. Aguagest). It is generally drinkable, because 'potable' means treated. But drinkable and suitable for plants are not necessarily the same thing. For example I have been living in Spain (on and off) for almost 30 years and the quality of the drinking water has ranged from clear but salty to brown and not salty. To be fair the salt in the water was common 30 years ago and the brown colour of the water was generally but not always after pipe repairs were undertaken. Clearly plants (and lawns) do not like salty water, but there is one other chemical in treated water and that's chlorine. Over zealous water treatment policy has been to over chlorinate in preference to harmful bacteria. However plants do not like chlorine.
Well water falls into two categories. The well water that comes from a natural well, and the well water that is collected, generally from rain. This type of well is known as a 'deposito', which is self explanatory. Naturally occurring well water is generally alkaline hard water, and deposito water from rain is generally acidic.
Rain water is invariably slightly acidic (pH 6.5) because of the CO2 that the water dissolves from the atmosphere as it falls.
This of course can be an unknown. All water delivered by lorry is pumped up from the ground, and will generally be alkaline. But again if you are not sure - have it tested.
Sounds good but our experiences are that it could contain salts and other undesirable chemicals. We have monitored plant growth over many moths and find that some agricultural water inhibits plant growth to the extent that it weekens and dies.
I remember have a discussion with two gents in a local town. They were complaining bitterly about the fact that they had purchased the local ECO Centers recycled sustrato (Basically peat). The bottom line was they had planted all sorts of plants in it and they all died. I tried to explain to them that peat (pH around 4.0) was not suitable to grow plants in, but nevertheless was great for mixing with soil in your flower borders. Acidic peat and Alkaline soil makes for a great soil for growing plants. Sadly it fell on deaf ears.
It was not long after this, that the penny dropped with respect to my particular problem. I had been experimenting with different soil mixtures with no success. The experimental grasses would initially grown them after about three weeks would slow down, go yellow and die. Originally I put this down to the soil mix.
Then I realised the connection between the recycled pool water and my problem! I was collecting the backwash water and using it to water both plants in my garden and grass in trays. The confusing part was that the plants in the garden were doing great, but the grass in he trays were dying. I measured the water and found the pH was at times as low as 4.0 (this corresponded to my addition of chlorine in the pool)
The plants in the garden were in alkaline soil, so the water was great for them, but not for the pH neutral soil in the trays.
Tip: Don't forget, your lawn problem may be the quality of your water. We can provide a water test for you.