water softener waste

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by 1idejim, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. ARGOS

    ARGOS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    I haven't visually inspected the water that flushes through the R/O system/filter, but I service and have installed on several homes with R/O systems and the zones that are not run through the R/O are a real mess, leaving me to think that the flush water coming out of the R/O filter is going to be pretty messy and full of particles that would clog a drip system unless it had some serious self flushing filters. I would also question the wisdom of running the flush part of the system on trees...concentrated iron? I would want to test the water coming out of the flush part, sure there is no salt, but what other concentrates? I would also test the soil. I am pretty sure you are in an alkaline area, but you don't want to o.d. on iron. I am sure Kiril can chime in on this stuff.
  2. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,863

    thank you very much argos,

    the main thing i was concerned with was the extra water carl is putting into the system as there is no way of diverting excess water from the line. it's like every few hrs. 5- 10 gals are introduced to the system. he put a check valve at the discharge pipe at the pump house.

    i'm not sure how much water the redwood trees need and told him to call a nursery about the trees requirements.

    carl told me today that he's running 3 ea. 5gph for 1hr. twice a day. that's somewhere around 30 gal a day plus the 100gal from the flush water, my math may be close with a grand total of around 36 gals a day.

    is it that he may be drowning them?

    carl wait a sec. i'll ask the lawnsite crew, someone there will know for sure.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,002

    You California guys getting hammered with weather?
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,036

    who needs weather to get hammered :drinkup:

    Messages: 18,668

    i like the concept of trying to reuse the waste water. If I flow charted the problem out I'd start by testing the water. i wouldn't take anybody's word for its quality.

    Then I'd dig around the trees to see what the moisture level is like. You may find digging down a foot or so they are sitting in a pool.

    it also sounds like the trees get double watered from the system as well as the waste water. I'm betting those trees are drowning. In ten years they may love all that extra water.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    You can (and will) still be increasing the salt load, be it RO or ion exchange.

    First thing I would be doing is checking/comparing the EC values of the soil between the trees that get the backwash vs. the trees that don't.
  7. ARGOS

    ARGOS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    Additionally with drip you are still concentrating saline to a very localized area. I read an article once (I think it was graduate work from Davis) that researched redwood trees on drip systems. It found that many redwood trees in landscapes on drip irrigation were distressed due to the saline build up caused from drip irrigation water delivery.

    But apparently there are varieties of redwoods that have a higher saline tolerance therefore allowing one to choose the right tree in water recycle situations.

    Response of two coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens Endl.) varieties to moderate levels of salt and boron spray measured by stress symptoms: Implications for landscape irrigation using recycled water
  8. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    I admit I'm no left coaster.
    I grow trees in a small wholesale nursery here & do know a thing or two about redwoods.
    I don't believe anyone's talked about the size of these trees.
    Has this guy Carl mentioned the average caliper diameter for these trees at waist high?
    If these trees aren't large & well established, 36 gallon / day might be enough to drown them, largely depending upon what type of soil base you have there.
    Sandy, I hope.
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,002

    I'd still have that water tested, it's not expensive, at least up north.
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Yes, I agree there is going to be notable salt deposition at the edge of the wetting front, maybe even a visible one. With as much water as he is putting on, that is less of a concern than the overall salinity of the water.

    If he is using ground water, chances are very good it is hard water. Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) in general don't like alkaline water or soil, so if he is increasing his basic ion load with his backwash, it will create problems, especially if he is sitting on a clay loam.

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