Draining a Swimming Pool

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While it is an integral part of keeping pool water sanitary during use, chlorine is a dangerous chemical that is harmful to the environment.  Without proper ways to dispose of it, water contaminated with chlorine has the potential to harm both human property and native plant and animal life.  Such discharges are toxic to animal and plant life of all kinds, and can cause erosion or sediment problems if improperly done.  To that end, the City of Bloomington has created a policy to regulate and enforce the proper discharge of pool and spa water. 

How can I dispose of waste pool water properly?
The City of Bloomington approves of two methods for the disposal of waste pool or spa water.

1. Discharge to Sanitary Sewer

  •  The City prefers that owners of swimming pools or spas route their discharges into the public sanitary sewer. Discharging to the sanitary sewer system has no limitations on chlorine content or pH levels within standard residential pool use limits. It is also acceptable to discharge to the sanitary sewer system if the water is cloudy, discolored, or contains algae.
  • Before discharging chlorinated water, pool owners should contact the Public Works Department for approval. Discharge should be performed during low-use hours of the sanitary sewer systems, such as early afternoons or the later hours of the evening or night.

2. Discharge over land

  • If sanitary sewer discharge is unavailable, then pool owners may discharge water over land under the following conditions:
    • The water is discharged to a point at least 15 feet away from any property line, and over a grassy area to allow for absorption, filtration, and aeration of the water.
    • The chlorine content must be less than 1 part per million and free of other chemicals.
    • The pH level of the pool or spa water must be tested and must fall within a range of 6 to 9 standard units.
    • The pool water must not be cloudy or discolored and must be free of algae and other contaminants. 
    • Solids on the pool's bottom should not be disturbed and are best cleaned out manually.

What happens if I do not comply with this policy?
Wastewater should never be discharged directly into a body of water in the City of Bloomington. This means that water may not be discharged into lakes, streams, creeks, or the storm water sewer lines in the City of Bloomington. Discharging of water without following the above guidelines is a violation of the Clean Water Act in accordance with EPA regulations. 

Any person or persons, partnership, or corporation participating in inappropriately discharging, draining, or otherwise disposing of swimming pool, spa, or similar wastewater will be fined no less than one hundred dollars ($100) and no more than five hundred dollars ($500).