Pool Draining

Residential Pool or Hot Tub Draining

GEID operators have responded to emergency calls re water leaks and discovered residents improperly draining swimming pool water onto streets.  Pool draining is regulated by the City of Kelowna Sanitary Sewer/Storm Drain Regulation Bylaw.  Where GEID is called out and finds residents draining pool/hot tub water onto streets, GEID will bill the property owner for call-out charges.

The following information is provided from the City of Kelowna.  In order to help protect the environment, the City's bylaw restricts the discharge of swimming pool or hot tub water that contains disinfectants such as chlorine, salt water chlorination, or bromine. Residents are encouraged to consider the following when draining their pools and hot tubs.

  • Drain to a dry area on the property over a long period of time
  • Discharge the water at a low flow rate
  • Make sure the water stays on the property
  • Stop draining if it starts raining
  • Salt water pools can drain directly into the sanitary sewer system

"Knowing how to properly drain your pool or hot tub is important to help protect our water systems," says Mike Gosselin, Wastewater Treatment Supervisor. "Disinfectants keep pools and hot tubs clean from bacteria but can damage our water supply if they enter our storm systems as they flow directly into the lake."

If proper drainage is not possible, the water must be dechlorinated before being drained into the storm sewer system. When pool water containing these disinfectants is drained into the storm sewer system, they are then released into Okanagan Lake and local streams untreated.

Storm sewers are the catch basins or grates on the road usually found by a sidewalk and drain into the storm sewer system. These connect directly into Okanagan Lake and local streams, therefore water flows into the lake untreated. Sanitary systems can be identified by their circular pipe with lid or a square container that, when opened, contains a pipe (the container may be marked with SEWER). The sanitary sewer system is directed to the City's Wastewater Treatment Facility and is treated before being released into the lake.

Residents are asked to contact the City's Water Quality department before draining their pool or hot tub to ensure they are draining into the correct system. Improper discharge of contaminated water can result in a fine of up to $2,000.  For more information call the City at 250 469-8887 or visit kelowna.ca/utilities.