The average backyard swimming pool holds approximately 19,000 gallons of water that may contain a variety of biocides, algaecides, and other chemicals. These chemicals are toxic to the environment and can pollute local waterways when emptied onto driveways, gutters, or streets. Following best management practices protects the waterways where we fish, swim, and play.
It is illegal to discharge both chlorinated and saltwater from pools directly into any part of the stormwater system. For chlorinated pools, chemicals must be neutralized and for saltwater pools, both chemicals and salt must be neutralized.
In preparation for draining your pool:
- Stop adding chlorine, bromine, or salt to your pool and let the water sit for approximately 10 days to allow chemical levels to dissipate naturally.
- Use a pool testing kit to ensure the following:
✓ total residual chlorine or bromine is less than 0.1 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or parts per million (ppm)
✓ salt is neutralized (if applicable)
✓ pH is between 6.0 and 8.0
While draining your pool:
- Drain your pool slowly, over a few days, to well-vegetated areas on your property where it can be absorbed into the soil.
- Monitor the water as it drains to avoid flooding, erosion, or pooling that could breed insects or create odors.