How Your Pool May Impact Water Quality

News posted Jun. 01, 2017 - 6:00 am

Did you know that if chlorinated or saltwater pools are not maintained properly, it could affect the water quality of streams and lakes in Raleigh?

When preparing a pool for summer, remember these three details:

  1. Pool water is not stormwater and should not be placed in ditches, street gutters, or storm drains;
  2. The same chlorine or salt used in a pool that disinfects water for recreational use has a high concentration of chemicals that negatively impacts stream health and aquatic life; and,
  3. There is a safe way to drain or de-chlorinate pool water.

Generally, pool water is safe to drain after waiting five to seven days for the chlorine to evaporate. After that timeframe, slowly release the water into a large, vegetated area so that plants and soil can clean the water before it goes to storm drains and local waterways.

Is Discharging Pool Water Illegal?
Pool water is only considered an illegal discharge if the water is chlorinated or “shocked” immediately before draining, or if disposing of it causes environmental damage. In this case, the property owner may receive an illegal discharge violation.

Other items that should not go in the storm drain include paint, wash water, gasoline, wastewater, grease and oil, yard waste and leaves, pet waste, and litter. Illegal discharges can be reported to the Stormwater Management Division at 919-996-3940 or

This article was originally printed in the Stormwater Management Division's Urban Watersheds publication. Subscribe to learn more and to receive stormwater-related news.

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