Swimming pools are a vital part of enjoying the Florida heat. Maintain your pool responsibly to help sustain healthy water bodies in the Sunshine City.
What is the Impact?
Chlorine and other chemicals used in maintaining pools and spas, which often include acidic or alkaline cleaning compounds, can have a negative impact on the plant and aquatic life in waterbodies, even at low levels. Additionally, turbidity (water cloudiness or haziness) associated with backwashing and cleaning can violate waterbody quality standards.
Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges are authorized in Florida if they do not cause a violation of water quality standards. Follow the below steps when draining swimming pools or discharging filter backwash into the environment:
- Avoid draining/backwashing your pool during periods of drought and during significant rainfall events. Do not drain your pool when more stringent drought watering restrictions are in place.
- The water should be clear and free of solids before draining.
- Direct the discharge over a vegetated surface, like a lawn, so that some level of natural filtration can occur.
- The free chlorine residual must be less than 0.01 mg/L and the pH must be between 6.5 and 8.5. These can be tested using a standard pool test kit. If you need to drain your pool quickly, you can purchase chlorine-neutralizing chemicals such as sodium thiosulfate at your local pool supply store.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions before discharging water that has had an algaecide added recently. Algaecides can interrupt normal algal and plant growth in waterbodies and can be harmful to other aquatic life. They should be used with caution.
- Control the rate of discharge across your property to avoid erosion and nuisance conditions for neighboring properties. Nuisance conditions such as the creation of odors, mosquito breeding conditions or flooding can occur when water is ponded for longer than 24 hours.
- Do not discharge on areas recently treated with herbicides, fertilizers or pesticides.
NOTE: Pool and spa water cannot be discharged into the sanitary sewer system. For more information: stpete.org/protectourbays.
How to Get in Touch
To report improper pool maintenance
Mayor’s Action Center: 727-893-7111
SeeClickFix Website: www.seeclickfix.com/st-petersburg (Mobile app available)