Make sure you know the proper way to drain a pool before you prep for summer

PASO ROBLES — Hot summer days are here, and the pool is calling your name. Although you may be ready to grab a float and jump in, you should first check the condition of your pool for holes in the liner, missing tiles, or other problems that might require the pool to be drained. 

If you need to drain your pool for repairs, follow these steps:

  • Before draining, test the chlorine level in the pool with a chlorine test kit and ensure there is no detectable chlorine. A great way to lower the chlorine level in the pool is by not adding any chemicals for a few weeks and testing the chlorine level several days before draining. Also, test the pH of the water to ensure it is between 6.5-9.
  • The best place to drain your pool is on your lawn or landscape away from the pool. Water draining slowly from your pool can be used to water your lawn or garden. The landscape acts as a natural filter, allowing the water to slowly make its way into the ground while also allowing sediments in the water to settle out. Carefully watch the water flow and immediately stop the pumping if runoff is flowing to adjacent properties or the flow reaches the street.
  • If your landscape areas are insufficient to discharge your pool water and you are connected to the City sewer, notify the City Wastewater Department at (805) 227-1654 or (805) 227-7239 to ensure the flow will not exceed the capacity of the sewer lateral or City main. (City Municipal Ordinance 14.10.050)
    • If approved, locate the cleanout on your property.
    • Install appropriate backflow prevention device.
    • Using a hose, connect a siphon or sump pump that pumps 50 gallons or less per minute to the cleanout or indoor drain.
    • Replace all cleanout covers when done.
    • If none of the above options are available, please contact Kim Porter at (805) 227-7239 or
  • Do not drain your pool water into streets, gutters, or storm drains. High levels of salts, chlorine, or other chemicals can make their way into waterways harming aquatic organisms and wildlife. Also, do not drain to your septic tank, as it may cause system failure.
  • The contents of a saltwater swimming pools cannot be discharged to the City sewer, storm drains or waterways. You will need to hire a local pumping contractor.

For more information on how to properly drain your swimming pool, please contact Kim Porter – Water Quality Inspector at or call (805) 227-7239.