PUBLIC WORKS FAQ'S
Draining Swimming Pools
Pool owners and operators can help protect our local streams and rivers by following these guidelines for draining (discharging) swimming pool water.
The City of Williamstown prohibits the discharge of swimming pool water into public space. Chlorinated swimming pool water may not be discharged into the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) or storm drain. The MS4 conveys water directly to rivers and streams, and chlorinated water can kill aquatic life.
The penalty for a first offense is up to $1,000, and doubles for each subsequent offense.
Please select one of the following two options below for discharging swimming pool water properly.
There are three options for draining your swimming pool. Please note that whichever method you choose, you must dechlorinate the water before draining occurs. Here’s how:
Dechlorinate naturally: Allow the water to it in the sun for 7-14 days without adding any chlorine
Chemical dechlorination additive - contact your local pool store for options. Verify water is dechlorinated with a pool testing kit.
Option 1: Your Lawn – the preferred discharge method
Drain dechlorinated water to a vegetated area (i.e. grass lawn, garden, etc.) or any area on your property that will allow the water to percolate into the ground if, and only if…
- You do not cause flooding of your neighbor’s property or any other adjacent property.
- The land area is sufficient to prevent erosion and runoff into a ditch, creek, or other conveyance (i.e. storm drain)
- You do not cause harm to the environment
Option 2: The sanitary sewer
Drain your pool to the sanitary sewer. Most in-ground pools have a drain line connected to the sanitary sewer that can be used once the pool water has been dechlorinated.
Please follow these steps:
- Locate the sanitary sewer cleanout on your property or an indoor drain such as a sink or bathtub.
- Using a hose, connect a siphon or sump pump that pumps no more than 20 gallons per minute.
- Pump the water from the pool or spa to the cleanout or indoor drain.
- Replace all cleanout covers when finished
DO NOT drain swimming pool or spa water to your SEPTIC SYSTEM as it may cause system failure.
- Dispose of wastes properly
- Use the minimum amount of chemicals on your yard
- Do not fertilize prior to rain
- Keep your car well-maintained
- Use pesticides and herbicides according to the label
You can also route the flow from your impervious areas, roof gutters, driveways and sidewalks to natural areas on your property to help reduce the quantity of Stormwater runoff. Or, add rain barrels below your gutters to harvest rain for watering your plants (also helps conserve water).
- Oil, anti-freeze, paint, cleaning fluids
- Wash water from a commercial car wash
- Industrial discharges
- Contaminated foundation drains
- Wash waters from commercial / industrial activities
- Sanitary sewer discharges
- Washing machine discharges
- Chlorinated backwash and draining associated with swimming pools
Unless the City has identified them as a source of pollutants the following non-stormwater discharges into the Storm Sewer System are lawful:
- Discharges from emergency fire fighting activities
- Diverted screen flows
- Rising ground waters
- Uncontaminated pumped groundwater
- Discharges from potable water sources as required for system maintenance
- Drinking water line flushing
- Foundation drains and pumps
- Air conditioning condensate
- Landscape irrigation
- Irrigation water
- Lawn watering
- Uncontaminated springs
- Water from crawl space pumps
- Uncontaminated footing drains and pumps
- Individual residential car washing
- De-chlorinated swimming pool discharges
- Street wash waters resulting from normal street cleaning operations