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EGLE offers guidance for proper disposal of residential swimming pool water

Labor Day marks the traditional end of summer when owners of swimming pools need to dispose of pool water.

EGLE hears from a lot of homeowners this time of year wanting to discharge chlorine-based swimming pool wastewater to the ground, or to a storm sewer or other surface water body.

Outdoor in-ground swimming pool showing poolside steps

If a homeowner with a chlorine-based pool meets the following conditions, then they typically satisfy the conditions of a wastewater discharge permit, without having to apply for, and obtaining, one:

  • Leave the pool uncovered and exposed to sunlight for a minimum of two weeks to remove the chlorine in the water
  • The filter backwash wastewater cannot be discharged.
  • No solids should be discharged with the water (e.g. leaves, dirt).
  • Spa water should be cooled before discharge.

If a discharge is planned directly to surface waters, it should be done slowly and in a manner that prevents erosion. If a discharge is planned to the ground, it should be done in such a way that all water remains on the pool-owners’ property and the discharge does not cause physical damage or nuisance conditions (such as flooding) on neighboring properties.

More information is contained in this document that covers domestic wastewater discharges to the groundwater of the state.

Please note that saltwater pools and non-residential pools cannot be discharged to storm sewers or surface waters without applying for, and obtaining, a permit.