Pool/Hot Tub Discharge Guidelines

Water from swimming pools and hot tubs often contains high levels of chlorine. Discharging chlorinated water into waterways is harmful to fish and other aquatic life. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection does not require discharge permits for single-residence pools as long as proper guidelines are followed.

  • Never discharge pool/hot tub water into the sanitary sewer system in Cheltenham!
  • Never discharge pool water directly (such as through a hose) into a stream or into a storm drain inlet along a street. All storm drain inlets empty directly into local streams without any treatment.
  • Hold water in the pool/hot tub for two weeks after you stop adding chlorine to allow chlorine levels to reduce. However, do not create fly and mosquito breeding conditions by holding the water too long.
  • Pump pool and/or rain water from the top. Any solids on the pool bottom should be cleaned out manually, not discharged.
  • Discharge water across your lawn in a manner that optimizes absorption in your lawn and avoids erosion and that prevents it from flowing off of your property.
  • When cleaning pool surfaces with muriatic acid or chlorine, wastewater must be treated before discharge. Wastewater should be neutralized to a pH between 6 and 9 standard units. Residual chlorine should be less than 0.5 mg/l.

For questions regarding pool water discharge guidelines, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection at 484-250-5900.