Draining a pool or spa? The water should not go to the gutter!

June 04, 2013

What to do with water drained from a pool, spa or fountain?Yesterday afternoon, my family and I walked our elderly dog through our east Los Gatos neighborhood. We saw an inordinate amount of water coming down the gutter on one street (and it was the middle of the day, so we didn’t think it was watering a lawn). Eventually we arrived at a house where a large amount of water was emerging from a property’s drainage system and into the gutter. It looked like several hoses’ worth was coming through at once.

Turns out that this homeowner was draining his pool, and he didn’t know what to do with the water. So he directed it to the storm drain via the gutter.

Do you know what to do with pool or spa water when it needs to be drained? I don’t think most of us do.

The Town of Los Gatos has a stormwater page on its site. Here there’s a two paragraph explanation that the stormwater drainage system (what goes into the gutters) is not the same thing as the sanitary sewer system. Pool and spa water should be directed not to the gutters, but to the sewer system via either the cleanout or washer outlet. When spa or pool water is sent to the gutters, it goes to our creeks and to the bay, where it’s pollution and harmful for the environment and the ecosystem of our water.

On another page of the town’s website for FAQs on stormwater pollution management, there’s a bit more info on draining pools & spas:

 

What should be done with drained pool and spa water?

 

The chemicals used in pools, spas, hot tubs and fountains can be toxic to aquatic life in local streams and the San Francisco Bay Area.

When cleaning out your pool, spa, hot tub, or fountain, discharge the water into a sewer line after obtaining permission from the local sewage treatment plant.

 

There had been a brochure available for more info on what to do via a link on the first page I mentioned above, but it is broken, unfortunately. I’ll contact someone at the town and if possible, will provide a working link as an update to this post when it is available.