Pool and Hot Tub Discharging

Pool and Hot Tub Discharging

Why is water from chlorine and salt water pools a concern?

Backyard pool next to riverThe water from pools and hot tubs are filled with chemicals you need to keep your pool clean and safe for swimming. The main chemicals found in pools are chlorine/bromine, salt, copper-based algaecides, nonylphenols and nonylphenol ethoxylates. These chemicals are harmful to the fish and organisms that live in the creeks, rivers and lakes. The copper in algaecides is particularly poisonous to trout.

Water entering storm sewers does not get treated and discharges to our local watercourses and ultimately the Detroit River. However, water discharged to the sanitary sewer goes to the waste water treatment facilities.

Where should I discharge the water from my pool?

Never drain a pool or hot tub during a rain event or if rain is expected that day as it may overwhelm the sewer system.

Chlorinated Water

  1. Dechlorinate the water before discharging by placing a dechlorination tablet in the water then letting it sit to allow the chlorine to dissipate. Running the pump will assist in the dissipation of the chlorine. Sunlight also helps.
  2. Test your pool, hot tub or spa water chemical levels to ensure they are as close to zero as possible before discharging it.
  3. Drain onto your property, if it can be properly absorbed into the ground without flowing onto your neighbours property.

Salt Water

  1. Discharge salt water pools to the sanitary sewer system. The water from salt water pools has such high levels of chlorides that this water cannot be discharged to the storm sewer system. This can be accomplished by locating your sanitary sewer system connection located on your property.
  2. Have the salt water hauled by a Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks approved and licensed hauler.

In the spring ...

Rain water or melted snow collected on your pool cover can be discharged to the storm sewer system as long as you remove leaves and other debris first.

To learn more on the City of Windsor's sewer system including differences between sanitary and storm sewer, please visit Goal A of the Environmental Master Plan: Improving Our Air and Water Quality.

For more information on environmental initiatives:

Phone: For general information, call 311. For detailed inquiries, call 519-255-6100 ext. 6127.