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Published on Friday, September 11, 2015

Summer warm temperatures are dropping, which means it is time for many residents to drain their pools and spas. Draining pools and spas usually involves water with chlorine levels that can impact aquatic life in local streams. Acceptable procedures for emptying a residential pool and spa are as follows:

  • Water may be emptied to the storm water system if the chlorine content is low and free of other chemicals. Chlorine levels can be dissipated to acceptable levels in several days by no longer adding chlorine to the pool.
  • The pH level of the water must fall within a range of 5.5 – 11.5. Water test kits are available at most pool supply stores.
  • The water must not be cloudy or discolored and must be free of algae and contaminates.
  • Water may be drained on the owner's property – provided it goes to a drainage channel, storm drain inlet, or along the curb line gutter of a paved street and not cause a nuisance or municipal code violation.
  • Water must be monitored to ensure that it does not cause any erosion of the drainage channels. Discharges to the sewer must be controlled at a rate that will not overflow the lines in that area.
  • Discharges of pool water containing pollutants such as chlorine and sediment must be drained to the sanitary sewers.

Always properly store pool and spa chemicals to prevent leaks and spills.