My wife and I have a large inground pool that we winterize and cover all winter. It collects a hefty sum of water and other organic material all winter and in the spring I end up pumping this bog water off into the yard and shoveling the solid stuff onto the brush pile to burn. It's not chlorinated or treated, it's just whatever hits the cover after we close it up for the winter.

I was curious if there was any value in spraying the garden with it? We start our garden from seed in the house so hitting it with some potentially good water from the get go might be swell.

  • Is there is some nutritional value from all the decaying leaves and pine needles?
  • Is there any testing I can do with it? We have quite a few pine trees and I would be worried about the acidity?
  • Can I salvage some compost from the solids?

It seems like such a waste to throw onto a brush pile or away. We're trying to be environmentally conscious and all.

2 Answers 2


The water won't have huge amounts of nutrients, but will contain a good amount of microbes. You can use it to water your plants, but I see no reason for spraying it on the leaves. It will be a little acidic, but regular (at least every 3-4 years) pH tests will catch any harmful trends long before they become an issue, which they likely won't.

About the solids, Definitely compost, don't burn! Once dried, it would make a great high-carbon addition to the compost heap. If you have a lot, you can also mulch with it. To make it look nice (if you usually use mulch only for aesthetic purposes), you could spread it in a thin layer, and spread another thin layer of regular mulch on top.

  • The wind ruined everything. I put the solids on the compost pile but much of the water ended up in the pool.
    – Bmo
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 20:02

Consider it something like compost tea. Yes it has value but how you deal with it is a whole different problem. :)

  • Can you add some more detail to this answer?
    – kevinskio
    Commented Apr 5, 2015 at 10:43

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