DEP Reminds Pool Owners to Drain Pools Responsibly

| September 13, 2018

HARRISBURG, Pa. – In an effort to help protect stream health and aquatic life, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is reminding private and public pool owners, as well as pool management companies, to properly close their swimming pools for the season.

Discharged pool water 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 water must not be discharged to any storm sewer or land in which a storm sewer is accessible. Runoff can cause fish kills and unsafe aquatic conditions.

“Pool owners and professional pool cleaners need to dispose of old water appropriately and conscientiously,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Most of all, we need to make sure the wastewater is going into the sanitary sewer, where it may be allowed – not into our storm sewers where it will run into streams and could harm aquatic life.”

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.

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 subject to enforcement.


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