Pool and Hot Tub Cleaning - What You Need to Know

Summer by the pool or hot tub is a tantalizing image… unless it is in need of cleaning. There are right (and wrong) ways to go about this.

Hot tubs, pools, and other water features need to be drained into the sanitary sewer, not the storm sewer. Chlorinated water isn’t suitable for our streams and wetlands, or Oswego Lake, and can’t legally be discharged to our storm system. The same disinfecting quality that we depend on from our pool chemicals produces ecological havoc in natural waters. Uncontrolled high flow volumes spilling into small drainages or running over stream banks causes erosion, taking more sediment and phosphorus downstream to Oswego Lake or City streams.  Large discharges also can upset the wastewater treatment plant. So what are your options? A hose that will fit into the sewer cleanout for your house and a small pump (up to 12 gallons/minute) should send the chlorinated water through the sewer at the right rate.  Don’t know where your sewer cleanout is? The City’s Building or Engineering staff, City Hall -3rd floor, may be able help you track down that information.

If you need to empty your pool at a higher rate, the water should be dechlorinated first. This can take a couple of weeks, so don’t wait until the day before your pool party to start. Otherwise, you’ll need to chemically dechlorinate the water. More guidance on getting rid of chlorinated water, including specific steps to take to dechlorinate the water, is available here: https://www.oregon.gov/deq/FilterDocs/chlorwaterdisp.pdf. Happy swimming!