Can I reuse the waste water from reverse osmosis (RO) to water my plants?
We recommend waste water be used on lawns, mature trees, shrubs and other non-sensitive plants. Reuse of waste water is somewhat dependent on the contamination of source water; source water with high parts per million (ppm) levels (more than 400) will produce much higher ppm waste water than source water with a lower ppm. The question posed mentioned the possibility of increased salinity; this would only be an issue if source water had salinity to begin with, which is relatively rare, or if the RO system was being used to filter water from a water softener. The only way to remove softener salts is to use reverse osmosis, the process of which would definitely concentrate that salt and could potentially build up in soil, causing damage even to non-sensitive plants. If you have a softener, it’s best to send the RO waste water down the drain. If you do not have a softener, try using it on trees, shrubs and lawns. Avoid using it for washing the car or clothing or dishes, as concentrated, hard water can cause spotting and wear out clothing.
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