Swimming Pools

Follow these three steps to keep your pool cool and stormwater-friendly.

Step 1: Pool Discharge

Check with your plumber or pool maintenance provider to determine where your pool (or hot tub or fountain) discharges. Many pools are designed to drain directly into the sanitary sewer. If yours isn’t, you’ll need to practice proper disposal of treated pool water.

Step 2: Proper Drainage

Pools should always be drained according to the regulations of your local jurisdiction. Check with your city for detailed instructions and follow these best practices before you start draining:

  • De-chlorinate/de-brominate: Let the pool water stand for 3-5 days to allow the chemicals to dissipate. Don’t add de-chlorinizing agents to the water and use a testing kit to ensure the concentration of chlorine is zero.
  • Check salt: In many places it is illegal to drain salt water to land. The buildup of salt in soil puts animals, plants and groundwater at risk.
  • Check pH: Determine the pH of the pool water before discharge. It should be between 6.5 and 8.5 when you drain.
  • Remove debris and dye: Make certain the water is free of discoloration, dirt, leaves, and algae.
  • Avoid algaecides: Avoid using copper-based algaecides. Copper is a heavy metal that can be harmful to aquatic life.
  • Use your grass: When discharging to a grassy area, control the flow so it doesn’t cause erosion problems or enter your neighbor’s property.
  • Educate: Educate your pool maintenance service provider about best management practices for pool care.

Step 3: Leftover Chemicals

Make sure that you properly store or dispose of any leftover pool cleaning chemicals, so they do not end up washing into the storm drain and into our local waterways. Store chlorine and other chemicals in a covered area to prevent runoff. Take unwanted chemicals to a Riverside County household hazardous waste collection center.

Riverside County Watershed Protection