Draining Your Pool

Planning to drain your pool? It's as easy as one, two three!

1. Let it sit.

Swimming Pool

Water in pools, spas, and fountains is treated with additives like chlorine, acid, alkalis, minerals, and other chemicals to make it pH balanced and clean. While they make the water great for relaxing, they can be harmful — even toxic — to plant and aquatic life.

Water drained into rights of way enters the stormwater system and is collected in washes. The water moves through the soil and eventually makes its way into streams, rivers, and natural areas without being treated. Pool, spa, and fountain water that has been treated with chlorine, bromine, copper, and other additives can harm water resources for plants, wildlife, and humans alike.

Let your pool sit for 48 hours or longer without adding any chemicals to allow them to decrease to environmentally-friendly levels. Get a pool test kit and check that the chlorine and bromine
levels measure “0” before pumping
the water out.

2. Get a permit.

swimming pool and spa

If you’re planning to drain your pool, spa, or fountain into the right of way, you’ll need a permit.

Please note: Alleys are not consider rights of way; it is illegal to discharge into alleyways.

3. Take it slow.

Pool that has been emptied.Once your water is neutralized and you have your permit, it’s time to start draining! Be sure to pump the water out slowly to prevent flooding roadways, impeding vehicle and pedestrian traffic, or overwhelming the stormwater system.

Yes, you can drain your pool, spa, or fountain onto your own property if you want to, and no permit is required! This
is a great way to supplement your landscape irrigation. The City of Sierra Vista recommends that you bring chlorine and bromine levels to “0” before draining to avoid harming plants.

If you drain your water feature or backwash your filter onto your own property, keep the flow slow to prevent runoff, damage to your own landscape, or seepage onto your neighbor’s property.

Filter backwash cannot be discharged into the right of way and can only be discharged onto your own property. When you backwash, make sure that the water doesn’t overflow into the street, right of way, or neighboring property.

Contact a local pool specialist or the City of Sierra Vista Public Works Department if you have questions about ...

  • A chemical you’re using
  • A saltwater pool
  • A polluted, stagnant, or “green” pool
  • Backwashing your filter
  • Discharging chlorinated or acid wash water
  • Not being able to drain to the right-of-way
  • A street that experiences flooding problems
Did you know?

Federal, state, and city stormwater regulations prohibit discharging pool backwash, chlorinated, "green," or salt-laden pool water into a stormwater system, right of way, or waterway?

Check below for FAQs for tips and more information about how to legally drain your pool.