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The state Department of Environmental Protection offered tips and warnings Wednesday to remind pool owners how to properly close their swimming pools for the season.

According to the DEP, discharged pool water containing chlorine or other chemicals can be detrimental to aquatic life. Pool water should not be discharged to any storm sewer or land in which a storm sewer is accessible, since runoff can cause fish deaths and unsafe aquatic conditions, the DEP said.

The discharge of any swimming pool water to any state waters without a permit is a violation of the Clean Streams Law, and property owners and pool companies could be subject to enforcement.

“Pool owners and professional pool cleaners need to dispose of old water appropriately and conscientiously,” DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said. “Most of all, we need to make sure the wastewater is going into the sanitary sewer, where it may be allowed, not into our storm sewers where it will run into streams and could harm aquatic life.”

The DEP offered these tips for draining swimming pools:

  • Municipal permission must be given for pool water to be disposed of through the sanitary sewer system.
  • Never dispose of pool water through a storm sewer, which will discharge to a stream.
  • If lowering the water level of the pool, let it drain to a lawn to prevent it from running off into a storm sewer.
  • If a sanitary sewer is not available, water may be used for irrigation if it does not run off the property or into a storm sewer.

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