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Heavy rains can overwhelm your pool. The water level rises above the inlets and requires you to drain water regularly.

On the one hand, there is the question of how to drain the water. For another, the legal situation is important. You are not always allowed to just dump the pool water everywhere.

When draining the water, pool owners quickly get to feel the force of the water. If you use a simple sewer hose for this purpose, the ground erodes at the outlet point and a large gutter quickly forms.

Furthermore, pool water should not always be disposed of directly into sewers. The water treated with chemicals can harm the water systems. Here you must observe the local limits (especially for the active chlorine content).

Pure pool chemicals must never be disposed of through the sewers or other environment. The public wastewater treatment system is not designed to handle these types of (concentrated) chemicals.

Some people in the industry think that you should just let the water drain slowly overnight. We feel that not only does this seem like sneakiness to neighbors, but it does purely nothing to change the concentration of the pool chemicals .

In the sewers of the sewer system, your discharges may be diluted with the wastewater of other households, but the discharge of pool water with high chlorine content is still not allowed.

After a long search and intensive research, we have established a number of disposal options for pool water. Of course, each pool is unique and has individual requirements.

The property size, vegetation, distance to the sewer, budget and whether professional companies are active in your area that would pick up water will influence your choice.

The various disposal options: Where to put the pool water?

At the latest, when preparing to winterize the pool in the fall of the first pool season, fresh pool owners are faced with this question. There are several options. However, you are sure to find one that suits your backyard.

Option #1: Sewer system

Sewer hookup to your home is the most tried and true method. Pool water can be disposed of very conveniently through the sewer system.

However, the supply of water from swimming pools to private sewage drains are not allowed everywhere. In some countries and regions, the release of water in this way is restricted.

We recommend that you check with the regional operator of the water treatment system beforehand. They will usually give you limits for pH, chlorine content and maximum discharge rates. We ask that you follow these guidelines.

Option #2: Seepage Trench

A soak away trench is a ditch that is used to drain runoff water. Trenches are popular in landscape and garden design. By trench, you mean a rock bed; it looks aesthetically pleasing and prevents sewage from the pool from flowing onto neighboring properties.

The establishment of a rock bed you can do yourself. For such a trench, you just need a lot of larger and smaller stones, you can get them in any hardware store.

Option #3: Water the flower bed

You can also use the water from the pool to water your flower bed. The most important step for this is to do a proper water analysis.

For watering with pool water, the following applies to water quality:

  • Algaecides must not be present.
  • A roughly balanced pH is sufficient. (acid rain also does not destroy the flower bed).
  • The chlorine content should be less than 0.05 mg per liter.

In the case of a flower bed, you can build a simple automatic drainage system with a hose.

To do this, lay a standard garden hose around the flower bed, fix it in several places (so that the hose does not turn easily) and now poke a hole in the inside of the hose every 10 centimeters. When the drain hose is connected and the pump is running, your flower bed will be sprinkled with water drop by drop.

If you use this or another automatic solution, or simply leave the draining water unattended for a while, be careful of the amount of water. Otherwise, your flower bed will quickly be overwatered.

Joeys Garden Expandable Garden Hose
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Option #4: Dry well

A dry well is used to dispose of excess water. This prevents erosion and flooding of the soil. Simply put, a dry well receives water through pipes or grates and then disperses it into the deeper soil, preventing the formation of puddles or small lakes.

The construction of a dry well must be undertaken by a professional contractor. Depending on the law, a building permit may be required to construct a dry well. Check with local authorities.

This water disposal option requires sufficient space for a large hole that can hold hundreds to a few thousand gallons of water. Keep in mind that light and heavy equipment will be used during construction. For this reason, the place where the dry well will be created, must be easily accessible.

The excavated hole is first filled with gravel. This can be as much as 500 kilograms of gravel. About the last quarter is filled with soil until the hole is level with the ground. It is best if the dry well is connected underground to the pool’s water system.

The well is built so that the gravel filling filters the water, and then it can seep into the ground widely distributed.

The dry well method is very effective. When setting up the pool, your lawn will have to suffer a bit due to the heavy equipment and work, but with the right seeds you will repair the bad spots.

The labor involved in building the fountain overall and the cost of acquiring thousands and thousands of small stones make for a high cost. Pool owners should expect a four-figure bill to implement this option for sewage disposal.

Option #5: Sprinkler system

If you’re sprinkling your lawn anyway, you’re probably running a sprinkler system. That’s where combining the wastewater from the pool and the inflow to the lawn sprinkler comes in handy. Is it really that simple?

Many people wonder if you can sprinkle lawns with the “chlorine water” from a pool.

The answer to the question is yes, but….

The soil and vegetation can handle more chemicals than you might think. Some days the rain is acidic and has a pH of 4.2 to 4.7 – much more acidic than already very acidic pool water.

Plants also have some tolerance to chlorine. However, if you expose lawns or plants to too highly concentrated a solution of chlorine in the water, symptoms of poisoning will occur in the plants.

Therefore, test the pool water with test strips before using it for the lawn:

  • Heavy metals (such as copper from algaecides) should not be present.
  • The pH value should be approximately balanced.
  • The chlorine content should be less than 0.05 mg per liter of water.
Pool and Spa Test Strips - Quick
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Draining the pool via the lawn sprinkler is pretty ideal

A lawn sprinkler is an ideal way to drain your pool. The sprinkler distributes the pool water evenly onto the lawn – just like rain.

The soil absorbs the water easily and damage from soil erosion does not occur. A sprinkler system is an affordable and effective solution that you can install on your own in just a few minutes.

3 Things you should do before disposing of water

With the right tools and tricks, you can treat your water so that it meets regulatory requirements and is safe for the soil and plants in your garden.

1. Testing the water

Testing the water quality regularly is part of a pool owner’s duties. If you are going to dispose of water, you need to know about the pH, heavy metal content, and chlorine levels.

A detailed water analysis can be performed by pool specialty stores. For regular control you should use test kits or test strips. Both are similarly priced (test kits require the purchase of additional reagent tablets), but test strips are easier to use.

U.S. Pool Supply Swimming Pool &
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Note: If you simply want to test the pH in your pool water or record the chlorine concentration, the best way to do this is with test strips or a test kit. Professional help is usually not necessary.

2. Remove copper from the pool water

The best way to remove the heavy metal copper is to raise the pH to 7.4 to 7.8 for a short time, add flocculant to the water, and run the filter pump for a full day.

Clorox Pool&Spa Sink to Clear
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3. Correct the pH value

Water companies often make specifications when it comes to pH. Use both pH-Minus and pH-Plus chemicals to adjust your pool water to a balanced level before disposal.

Pool Mate 1-2210B Swimming Pool pH
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Clorox Pool&Spa 12105CLX pH Down, 5
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Legal regulations for pool water disposal

The legal regulations for pool water disposal are relatively clearly laid out. While there are different regulations in different states, the basic rule is:

Pool water, especially if it contains chlorine, is wastewater as defined by law (§54 WHG). The infiltration of wastewater constitutes a use of water (discharge into groundwater) according to §9 WHG and is always subject to permission according to §8 WHG, i.e. an application for permission must be submitted to the responsible lower water authority. Since this is wastewater and not precipitation water, there is also no exemption from permission according to §46 para. 2 WHG.

After the application has been filed, all necessary measures must be taken to reduce the amount of chemicals and salts.

The contact person is the water company in your region. There you will find further information on this subject.

We wish you good luck with your dewatering and, until the time comes, lots of fun swimming!

Recommended read: How to Drain a Pool with or without a Hose (6 Ways)

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.