As cool weather approaches, many pool owners are preparing to winterize their swimming pools. If you need to drain your pool water, be sure to follow these guidelines to protect our region’s storm water system and the environment.
Dissipate Pool Chemicals
Pool chemicals such as chlorine and bromine can kill fish, insects and plants, so your pool should be free of chlorine (less than 0.1 parts per million total chlorine), algaecides and other pollutants before you discharge pool water to a safe location.
As a general rule, a 10-day holding time after the last chemical treatment is usually adequate to dissipate chlorine. The water’s pH levels should be within a normal range (6 to 9). If you need chlorine neutralizer, pH adjustment chemicals or test kits, check out your local pool supply store.
Always test your pool water for chemicals and other pollutants before discharging it to a safe location.
Determine a Safe Drainage Location
If possible, you should discharge pool water to the wastewater sewer system, but if it’s unavailable, you may discharge water onto your property or to the storm water sewer system.
- Only discharge clear, dechlorinated and neutral pH water to a street, storm drain or stream.
- When discharging pool water onto your property, the water should not flow off to neighboring properties.
- Do not allow the water to pond for a long time. This could create odors as well as fly and mosquito breeding conditions.
- Slowly drain your pool to prevent soil erosion, flooding and property damage. The recommended discharge rate is 25 gallons/minute or less.
Salt Water Pools
Filter backwash water or discharge from salt water pools is not allowed to be discharged to storm drains or streams. If you have a salt water pool, it should be discharged to the wastewater system or to a location that does not directly runoff into the storm system or streams.
It is illegal to discharge water containing cleaning chemicals, acid buffering compounds, algae and other substances to the street, storm water system or stream. SD1 monitors illicit discharges, so if you see something, say something. Report an illicit discharge.
Thank you for preventing storm water pollution and protecting our waterways!