As we head into fall, the City of Winnipeg wants to remind pool owners to take the necessary steps to drain it properly.
The City’s Sewer By-Law regulates the draining of swimming pools, wading pools, hot tubs, and spas. Failure to follow the by-law could result in a fine. Residents are reminded that it is against the by-law to drain pool water into a manhole, onto a neighbouring property or sidewalk, or into a waterway such as a retention pond or creek.
You can drain your pool water into the sewer drain inside your home, however it is recommended to contact a plumber to ensure you are using the correct drain. Often, your sewer drain is built into your basement floor and a plumber can help locate the drain if needed and confirm whether it has the capacity to handle the pool’s water.
Note: be sure not to use your sump pit, as it is not connected to the City’s sewer system.
Residents can also drain your pool water onto your lawn, provided the water remains on the property until it evaporates or soaks into the ground. Prepare the water by discontinuing the use of any chemicals for at least one week before draining. Ensure water is drained slowly enough to evaporate or absorb into the ground in order to prevent ponding.
In order to drain pool water onto a street, into a ditch, or in a catch basin, residents (or their pool service provider) must have a valid Wastewater Discharge Licence. The licence will outline terms and conditions that must be met to ensure compliance with the Sewer By-Law.
Salt Water Pools: Please note that the process for draining your pool water is different for salt water pools. Due to the high levels of sodium chloride (salt), the water can damage the storm sewers and thus cannot be drained into a catch basin. The salt water can be drained into your wastewater sewer, onto your lawn, or you can hire a licensed wastewater hauler to remove it.