Draining Pool & Spa Water

While your swimming pool or spa filter backwash is illegal to purge into the stormwater drains, it is also against city ordinance to drain your chlorinated pool or spa water into the stormwater drains. The current City of Puyallup Ordinance No. 2938 identifies chlorinated water, chlorine, and bromine as illicit discharges to stormwater drains.

Remember, stormwater drains are different than the sanitary sewer. The sanitary sewer is where the water from inside your home (sinks, showers, commodes) flows to for treatment at our water treatment facilities. The stormwater drains are where the rainwater goes and where the runoff from your roof or lawn flows (which is not always a good thing!...read more about this on our rain gardens page).

When you’re ready to empty your pool or spa, follow the following steps (or these Best Management Practices) to ensure that you are abiding by local ordinances as well as helping to minimize your impact on local streams and lakes.

The Short & Quick of Emptying Your Spa / Above-Ground / In-Ground / Kiddie Pool

Note: These procedures apply to those households who are connected to the city sewer and not for those on septic.
  • If chlorinated: Allow the water to sit at least 2 full days after the last addition of chlorine or bromine. Then test to make sure the chlorine levels are at 0.1 ppm or less and the pH-level is neutral.
  • Empty the water to the following locations (in order of city preference):
    • Lawn area - Especially if you live in the valley. You have great draining soil. The soil will filter out most chemicals and pollutants remaining in the water.
    • Household sink or bathtub - Yes, seriously! Run the garden hose between your pool and your sink or tub and start the flow! This will direct the water to the sanitary sewers.
    • Sanitary sewer cleanout - Locate your sanitary sewer cleanout for your house (pictured - yours may be black or green in color) and run your hose from the pool to there. Do not attempt to open or remove a sewer manhole cover - that is dangerous and is not recommended!
    • Stormwater drain - If the above options are not plausible for any reason, feel free to contact Mark Palmer, the city Stormwater Engineer to help you locate a good place to drain your water. Otherwise, if your water has been sufficiently de-chlorinated, empty the water in a slow, controlled flow to the stormwater drain. Ensuring slow and controlled flow will help to reduce the damage to the stream beds that this water flows into.
Sanitary Sewer Cleanout

Did You Know?

Did you know that there are over 30 streams and lakes in Puyallup alone? Check our map of Puyallup (PDF).
  1. Paul Marrinan P.E.

    Senior Civil Engineer