Swimming Pool Maintenance Guidelines

Guidelines for Draining Swimming Pools

Swimming PoolDraining swimming pools usually involves a large volume of water with chlorine levels that can impact aquatic life in local streams.

Acceptable procedures for emptying a pool are as follows:
  • A pool may be emptied by discharging to the storm water system if the chlorine content is ≤ 1 part per million 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 be tested prior to discharge and must fall within a range of 5.5 – 11.5.
  • The water must not be cloudy or discolored and must be free of algae and contaminates.
  • Pool water may be drained on the owner’s property, providing that it goes to a drainage channel, or along the curb line gutter of a paved street. 
  • The water must be monitored to ensure that it does not cause any erosion of the drainage channels.
  • Discharges of pool water containing pollutants such as chlorine, sediment, or organic debris must be drained to the sanitary sewers.

Filter Backwash Water Guidelines

Backwashing is defined as the rinsing and/or cleaning of cartridge or sand  filters. Filter backwashing produces water that contains pollutants such as chlorine and sediment.
  • Filter backwash should be discharged to the sanitary sewer system or it may be discharged onto the pool owner’s property as long as it can be absorbed into the ground.
  • Filter backwash water may not be discharged off  site to streets or the storm system.
  • Do not allow filter backwash water to flow onto a neighboring property or street.