Is Draining A Swimming Pool Safe For The Environment?

Is Draining A Swimming Pool Safe For The Environment?

Draining a swimming pool: Do you know where the water goes?

From Simi Valley Acorn

In areas in which swimming pools are put away for the Winter and re-opened for the Summer, the opening of the pool is a ritual that is always a harbinger of warmer swimming weather.  One of the tasks undertaken while opening a pool for the Summer is draining down the swimming pool to remove debris, and to restart the swimming pool water balance for the upcoming season.  Environementally conscious people may ask where the swimming pool discharge is going, and whether that is safe for the environment?  This post from Simi Valley Acorn addresses those concerns thoroughly, and hopefully will put the Earth conscious watchdogs at ease.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

We are frequently asked by the public, “How do I properly empty my swimming pool?”

We also often hear, “There’s a white powder on my street leading to the storm drain.”

When done properly, swimming pools can be drained or maintained without causing harm to the environment.

Properly maintained pools should not require draining more than once every five to seven years. Although most cities do not require a permit to discharge pool water, any pool water that is discharged must meet several criteria.

Check with your city or county to verify requirements, but generally, you need to use a pool test kit to check the chlorine level before draining because chlorine levels must be at or below 0.1 parts per million (ppm) to be drained into the street, gutter or storm drain system.

You can reduce levels before draining by waiting several days without adding chlorine or by adding chlorine reducers (sodium thiosulfate) available at local pool supply stores. Regardless of the method chosen for reducing chlorine, it’s not prudent to continue active pool use when the chlorine drops below 1.0 ppm.

How to discharge pool water is also important. De-chlorinated pool water must not pick up pollutants or cause a public nuisance while draining. For example, make sure that the running water does not collect grass clippings, litter or soil as it drains from your property.

Pools should be drained in the evening hours to prevent interference with heavier daytime traffic or street maintenance that may be occurring in the area. The flow of water should be monitored to ensure the discharge is not jumping the curb or causing a nuisance to neighbors.

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