Pool and Spa Draining – Don’t Harm the Environment!

1/4/2022 | Posted in: January 2022
Water in swimming pools and spas is treated with various chemicals (such as chlorine and algaecides) to keep organisms from living in it. These chemicals are harmful to the environment and can create fish kills and other impacts. When swimming pool and spa water is drained into the city’s storm drain system, it will eventually reach local creeks and rivers. Improper disposal of pool water, filter materials, and chemicals to the storm drain system can cause severe damage and even kill plant and animal life. Whoever drains a swimming pool or spa is ultimately responsible for preventing pollutants from entering the storm drain system.

One should only discharge chlorinated pool or spa water to the stormwater system if the water is free of any toxic amounts of chemicals (i.e., chlorine, bromine, algaecides, fungicides, etc.). Water should be between pH 6.5 and 8.5 (pH 7 is neutral), not heated. To achieve a neutral pH, one should let the water sit untreated for several days. Utilizing this water to irrigate the owner’s property without runoff is preferred. Discharges cannot create a nuisance to neighbors.

It is prohibited to have a direct connection between a pool or spa to the stormwater system.

When draining a saltwater pool, the water may only discharge to the sanitary sewer system - NEVER to the storm drain. 

A treatment plant is the only option since treatment plants are designed to remove most chemicals found in pools and spas. Contact Duckett Creek Sanitary District for their pool or spa discharges requirements before draining them into the sanitary system.

When discharging pool water to the storm drain, the homeowner may be subject to enforcement action if the discharge causes environmental harm in the downstream water body. If discharged by a maintenance company, the homeowner must make sure they follow all discharge requirements. Homeowners are legally responsible for any harmful or toxic discharges.
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