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Swimming pool water conservation

In a meeting held by the City of Cape Town, the Water and Sanitation department made it clear how one should dispose of swimming pool water. Unfortunately many swimming pool builders and installers have not been adhering to these regulation as they continue to install pools without proper waste facilities.

Swimming pool water must be disposed of in two ways and the regulation state this clearly.

Pool backwash water may not be sent to the road or stormwater system, but only to the sewer. Backwash water is seen as contaminated water  and may not be sent to stormwater (water pollution). Pool backwash water is often high in chlorine and other chemicals that have the ability to kill off naturally existing ecosystems (rivers, vleilands etc.)

Pool overflow, typically from rainwater, may not be sent to the sewer and must be sent either to stormwater or to the road. The ingress of pool overflow water into sewers cause floods at waste water treatment work which cause sewage spills from these treatment plants that are unable to cope with the excess water that is sent to them. Furthermore the excess volume of water increases the running time of treatment pumps, hence shortening their lifespan.

As a recap:
All pools, unless they are fitted with water recycling systems should have a facility to send water to both stormwater and sewer. Should the swimming pool overflow, this water should be sent to stormwater. Should the pool pump be set to backwash; this water should be sent to the sewer.

Pool backwash recycling systems allow pool owners to return their backwash water to the pool once it has been treated. These systems alleviate the need for swimming pools to be connected to the sewer. (cost saving).

saving water - swimming pool backwash reuse

Pool backwash recycling system

3 comments to Swimming pool water conservation

  • Warwick

    Hi There,

    What regulation prescribes this? I saw on plans of the city that the backwash pipe can go into the garden? Surely this is not right? I need your urgent reply!

    Kind regards,

    Warwick Vos

  • Typically pool backwash water is sent to the sewer and may not be sent to stormwater. Pool backwash water may be sent to the garden as long as it does not interfere with neighboring properties. It must be contained on the property and not run off.

    Pool overflow water may be sent to stormwater and not to the sewer.

  • admin

    Thank you.

    Does this mean the backwash pipe can run directly into the garden?

    Or does the law state it that it must first go into a septic tank or french drain?

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