Keep pool water out of stormwater drains

water draining into a catch basin

Are you getting ready to reopen your pool, hot tub or spa? Before you start, remember there’s a safe way to drain pool water and dispose of excess chemicals. 


Water from pools, hot tubs or spas contains chemicals that keep them clean and safe for swimming; however, these products can be toxic to the environment, fish and organisms that live in creeks, rivers and Lake Ontario – the source of Vaughan’s drinking water. Never drain chlorinated water, saltwater or excess pool or hot tub chemicals into a catch basin. Only rainwater should enter the storm sewer system as the water is not treated before travelling back into the environment. Watch this video to learn more about the stormwater process.


Where to drain pool water

The best way to dispose of water from both chlorine and saltwater pools, including backwash water from the filter, is onto your lawn surrounding your property ONLY if the following conditions are met: 

  • The water has a pH greater than 6.0 and less than 9.0. 

  • The water is dechlorinated before discharging.

  • The water is free of debris, vegetation or algae. 

  • Your property does not back onto a ravine or valley. 

  • The water can be properly absorbed into the lawn. Consider the slope and surface of your property and the rate with which the water absorbs into the ground to ensure it does not run toward your or your neighbour’s home. 


As the owner of a private swimming pool, hot tub or spa, you or any company you hire have a responsibility and legal obligation to safely maintain and operate your pool, hot tub or spa in compliance with the City of Vaughan’s Sewer Use By-law 130-2022 (PDF). Homeowners or the hired company could face fines or other penalties for improper disposal of pool water.


Where to dispose of pool chemicals

Leftover or expired pool, hot tub or spa chemicals are considered household hazardous waste and are not collected curbside. Dispose of these products at one of York Region’s waste depots. The Vaughan location is at 130 McCleary Crt.


See a spill?

To report an environmental spill or unintended discharge into a catch basin, contact Service Vaughan at 905-832-2281 or You can also contact the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks at 416-325-3000 (toll free: 1-800-268-6060), TTY: 1-855-889-5775. 


Learn more about safe pool water disposal and the City’s stormwater system


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