Sodium – Sodium exists in nearly all irrigation water and is not necessarily a cause for concern unless high concentrations are present. High concentrations (> 70 mg/L) can be detrimental to both turf and soils. Sodium in irrigation water can be absorbed by roots and foliage, and foliar burning can occur if sufficient amounts accumulate in leaf tissue. Grasses grown on golf course putting greens (creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass) are particularly susceptible to sodium toxicity because they are mowed very short, irrigated frequently, and subjected to other stresses.
Chloride – Chloride contributes to salinity of irrigation water, and when concentrations are high enough, can be toxic to plants. Turfgrasses are not particularly sensitive to chloride, and can tolerate levels up to 100 mg/L. Turfgrasses can sustain injury when irrigated with water containing >355 mg/L of chloride. Turfgrass managers should be aware that some ornamental plants are sensitive to chloride concentrations above 70 mg/L.