Yearly advice for Kelowna homeowners with pools

Longer days and sunshine are finally here and pool season is on the horizon. When preparing pools, hot tubs or other water features, residents are reminded to ensure they follow the proper procedures to drain winter water.

Pools and hot tubs should be drained onto a dry area on your own property at a low-flow rate over a long period of time.

“Proper drainage helps to protect our drinking water source ensuring untreated water containing disinfectants or sediment from entering into Okanagan Lake and local streams,” says Ed Hoppe, Water Quality and Customer Care Supervisor.

The Sanitary Sewer Storm Drain Regulation Bylaw restricts the draining of residential swimming pool and hot tub water containing disinfectants such as chlorine, salt water and bromine to storm drains in order to protect the environment. If proper drainage is not possible, the water must be dechlorinated before being drained into the storm sewer system.  Salt water pools can drain directly into the sanitary sewer system.

Water enters the storm sewer system through storm drains which flow directly into the lake and streams. These are the grates on the road, usually found next to a sidewalk. Storm drains are different than the sanitary sewer system, which is directed to the Wastewater Treatment Facility, where 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).

Residents who are unsure about proper drainage are encouraged to contact the City's Water Quality department at 250-469-8887 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 visit the Storm Water webpage at kelowna.ca/wastewater.