Summer is coming to a close, and so is pool season. During this time of year, owners of chlorine water and saltwater pools alike will say goodbye for the year by draining out their water.
The City of London is reminding owners of pools, spas, and hot tubs to dispose the water safely. Barry Orr, supervisor of the city’s Wastewater Treatment Operations, said some people are unaware of how sewer and storm drain systems work.
“It goes directly to creeks and rivers. There’s no treatment on it at all, there’s no filtering of chemicals or anything, it just goes straight in there,” he explained, “If you’re going to drain a pool, please do it so it won’t harm the environment.”
Orr said pool water can be damaging if the chlorine or salt levels are elevated. He said research has proven high chlorine levels kill fish, and that it’s the same case with salt. Orr added salt water levels in pools tend to be very high during this time of year.
“The aquatic life is not going to be able to tolerate those high levels,” he said, adding salt water should either be diluted before it enters the sewers, or remains on home property.
“It should never be going down the road into a storm drain.”
Orr’s suggested to test the water to make sure it’s safe, by either using tools from your pool kit or taking a water sample to a company to test. The City of London website also has instructions on how to safely drain your pool.
Improperly disposing pool water violates London’s Waste-Discharge by-law, which could be up to $365 in fines. There could be provincial or federal penalties if there’s proof the aquatic ecosystem is polluted.