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Public Works

Phone: 913-715-8300

1800 W Old Highway 56, Olathe, KS 66061

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Pool Water Disposal

Residential Pool Water Disposal Guidelines

Swimming pool and hot tub water contains many chemcials, including large amounts of chlorine, that are harmful to streams and lakes. Treated pool water is especially harmful to the aquatic life in these waterbodys. If water drained from pools is allowed to enter the storm drain system directly, it can harm fish and other aquatic life. Any water drained to the street or a storm drain flows directly to streams and lakes without treatment, therefore, the guidelines for properly disposing pool water must be followed. 

Releasing chlorinated pool water or backwash filter waste into a stream or storm drainage system is prohibited by City, County, and State regulations. Follow the steps below to safely and legally discharge pool water.

Traditional chlorine pools

Step 1: Discontinue the addition of chlorine 5 to 7 days before you plan to drain the water. This will allow the chlorine to dissipate naturally.

Step 2: Test the chlorine level and the pH of the water. If the residual chlorine level is less than 0.1 ppm (mg/L) and the pH is between 7 and 8, the water is safe to drain. 

Step 3. Drain the water. Direct the water in a way that does not cause it to flow onto a neighbor's property, cause nuisance conditions, or erosion problems. It is preferred that you discharge the water to a grassy area on your property and not allow the water to leave the property. 

Salt water pools

Sanitizing pool water using a chlorine generator is becoming increasingly popular in Johnson County. These systems use dissolved salt (NaCl) in the water and the use of electrolysis to create the chlorine needed to sanitize the water. Pool water treated this way requires slightly different for guidelines for disposal because the residual salt concentrations are too large (usually 3,000 ppm (mg/L)) to discharge to the storm drain system or streams. The State of Kansas acute aquatic life water quality standard for chloride is 860 ppm.  

Step 1: Discontinue the addition of salt. This will stop the generation of chlorine and allow the chlorine in the pool water to dissipate. 

Step 2: Test the chlorine level and the pH of the water. If the residual chlorine level is less than 0.1 ppm (mg/L) and the pH is between 7 and 8, the water is safe to drain. 

Step 3: Drain the water to a grassy area, it cannot be drained to the street or storm drain. When draining to a grassy area on your property take care to not allow the water to flow to trees or landscape beds. Do not allow the water to leave the property from which it originated. All pool water discharge and rinse water must soak into the ground. Typical lawns in Johnson County can tolerate the residual salt contect in the water if you spread the flow out to different areas and water (with tap water) the affected area throughly (1-2 inches) to flush the residual salt through the soil. 

Additional information

Water from backwash filter systems are not allowed in the storm sewer system. It is preferred that this water is directed to the sanitary system through a drain in your home, however, you may discharge the water on your lawn only if all of the water soaks into the ground and no water is allowed to leave your property. Used pool filters should be placed in your trash. 

Contact your city for additional information or questions.