okanagan-swimming-pool-drain-winterAs many residents are beginning to ready their pools and hot tubs in anticipation of summer, the City of Kelowna is reminding residents about the proper procedure to drain winter water without putting a strain on the environment.

Residents are asked to drain their pools and hot tubs to a dry area on their property at a low-flow rate over a long period of time. Salt water pools can drain directly into the sanitary sewer system.

“If proper drainage is not possible, the water must be dechlorinated prior to being drained into the storm sewer system,” says Adrian Weaden, Pump Operations Supervisor. “Otherwise, the pool water containing disinfectants is released into Okanagan Lake and local streams untreated.”

Water enters the storm sewer system through catch basins. These are the grates on the road, usually found by a sidewalk, and they drain directly into the lake and streams. However, the sanitary sewer system is directed to the City’s Wastewater Treatment Facility and water is treated before being released into the lake. Sanitary systems can be identified by their circular pipe with lid or a square container that, when opened, contains a pipe (the container may be marked with SEWER).

To help protect the environment, the Sanitary Sewer Storm Drain Regulation Bylaw restricts the discharge of residential swimming pool and hot tub water containing disinfectants such as chlorine, salt water and bromine.

Residents are encouraged to contact the City’s Water Quality department before draining their pool or hot tub to ensure they are draining into the correct system.  Improper discharge of contaminated water can result in a fine of up to $2,000.

For more information, call 250 469-8887 or visit kelowna.ca/utilities, under water > drainage.