Environmentally Safe Pool Drainage

Swimming pool maintenance involves chemicals that may be harmful to the environment, so it's important to use the proper procedures when draining pools.

  • Never drain pool water directly into a body of water (lake, stream, wetland, etc.)
  • Leave the water in the pool a week without adding chlorine before draining. This will reduce the chlorine.
  • Always test the pool water before draining to ensure that pH levels are normal (6.5- 7.8) and chlorine levels are not detectable.
  • Try to pump pool water out over an open area, such as a lawn, before letting the pool water drain into a storm sewer. If the water goes through your lawn make sure acid and chlorine levels are safe or it may damage the grass. Look for natural drainage paths that keep water away from adjacent property.
  • If your pool contains algae or other organic matter (a black film), collect the algae and flush it down the toilet. The decaying organic matter lowers the oxygen content in the water and should not go into the storm sewer or any wetland area.
  • If the pool is cleaned through an acid cleaning or by water pressure, make sure the pH levels in the water are adjusted to normal levels before draining the pool and filter out any paint chips before draining.
  • If you have used your pool filter completely you can throw it in your garbage. If there are extra or not completely used filters bring them to the Dakota County Recycling Zone, which accepts household hazardous Waste.
  • Always follow the instructions on all labels for disposal and usage. Never mix any two or more chemicals because the reaction could be harmful.

Please keep in mind that there is a direct link between what we do around our home and the water quality of our lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands!