I recently purchased a new home and have noticed a large area in my
back yard that looked like death on roots. The grass was brown, a
dozen or so smaller trees, one mature forsythia, a small rhododendron
were all dead. A large Weeping Willow is on its last legs.
When I investigated the problem, it didn't take me long to realize
what was causing it. The previous owner ran the drain tube for his
water softener into a sump pit in the basement. He then channeled the
discharge from the pit to the affected spot at the back of my lawn.
Every time the softener cycled, it flushed a potent load of salt water
onto the root systems killing everything.
I've already shut down the softener and will remediate the drainage
right away directing the discharge to the house sewage system where it
belongs. In the mean time I'm wondering what to do with my scorched
- Is there a way I can test the soil salinity to determine the extent
of my problem?
- Will rain water eventually wash the problem away? The roof gutters
discharge to the same location so there's plenty of irrigation.
- Is there something I can plant in the damaged area that loves salt,
and possibly even eats it up?
Thank you in advance for your answers.