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Splish, Splash: A Deep Dive into Proper Pool Water Discharge

September 14, 2018

Splish, Splash: A Deep Dive into Proper Pool Water Discharge

Swimming poolLabor Day has come and gone, school buses are back on the roads, and it’s time to start thinking about closing the pool for the season. In an effort to help protect stream health and aquatic life, we here at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would like to offer some helpful tips and (not so) gentle reminders on how to properly close swimming pools for the year. Whether you’re a private owner, manage a public pool or work for a pool maintenance company, these reminders are for you!

Discharged pool water and waters containing chlorine or other chemicals can be detrimental to aquatic life if not handled responsibly. It is extremely important that these waters are handled correctly. Pool waters must not be discharged to any storm sewer or land in which a storm sewer is accessible because runoff can cause fish kills and unsafe aquatic conditions.

When draining a swimming pool this year, make sure to protect Pennsylvania by following these tips:

  • Pool water may be disposed of through the sanitary sewer system ONLY with municipal permission.
  • Never dispose of pool water through a storm sewer, which will discharge to a stream.
  • If lowering the water level of the pool, let it drain to a lawn to prevent it from running off into a storm sewer.
  • If a sanitary sewer system is not available, water may be used for irrigation if it does not run off the property or into a storm sewer.

And don’t forget: The discharge of swimming pool water to any waters of the commonwealth without a permit is a violation of the Clean Streams Law. Property owners and pool companies that violate this law may be prosecuted and penalized for damages. Don’t let this happen to you!

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