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Pools and Spas

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Pool & Spa Filling

There are currently no restrictions on filling pools and spas. However, there are many ways you can save water while not harming the environment or creating a nuisance in your neighborhood when maintaining pools or spas. Below are some recommendations and tips.

Tips for Saving Water

  • Cover your pool or spa when it is not being used. This will keep your pool cooler and reduce evaporation by 30-50%. An average sized pool can lose about 1,000 gallons a month if left uncovered.
  • Avoid jumping into the pool or excessive splashing
  • Drain your pool or spa only when absolutely necessary
  • Turn off fountains, waterfalls, or other water features when they are not in use or you are on vacation.
  • Check for leaks and fix any that are found quickly. Depending on the size of the leak, an average sized pool can waste hundreds of gallons of water a day
  • Backwash pool filters only when necessary. A single back flushing with a traditional filter uses 180-250 gallons of water. If possible switch to a cartridge filtration system. It saves water and does not require backwashing.

Proper Disposal Procedures

Proper Disposal of Chlorinated Pool/Spa Water:

  • The City of Thousand Oaks does not require a permit to drain a pool/spa, but the pool/spa owner is responsible for using proper methods and best management practices (see below).
  • Maintain your pool properly; it should require draining no more than once every 5 to 10 years if properly maintained.
  • Pump water into a sewer cleanout or other sewer connection located on the property, while carefully monitoring the flow to avoid flooding.

For discharge into the storm drain system:

  • Reduce the chlorine level to a maximum of 0.1 ppm (parts per million) and the pH reading should be between 6-8 prior to draining your pool.
  • Ensure your water is clean of algae, debris, and mosquitoes before draining.
  • Make certain that the water draining from your pool will not push over trash carts, flood streets, and not pick up dirt, lawn clippings, leaves or other debris as it makes its way to the storm drain.

Discharges from Saltwater Pools & Spas are Prohibited and Illegal!

Proper Disposal of Pool Filter Backwash / Cleaning:

  • Never dispose of filter material (i.e. diatomaceous earth (DE)) in the street, gutter or storm drain system.
  • DE filter waste should be bagged wet and disposed of in the trash.
  • If DE filter requires rinsing, it should be rinsed to a landscaped area on the pool/spa owner’s property through a filter bag to catch sediment and then dispose of the bag in the trash.

Adding Chemicals to Your Pool/Spa:

  • Always read the directions before using any pool chemical.
  • Excess acid in some pools can result in low pH conditions that can strip copper from heating coils, causing copper pollution. Avoid the use of environmentally harmful copper based algaecides. Try hypochlorite shock treatment to prevent and treat algae growth.
  • Avoid the use of environmentally harmful copper based algaecides. Try hypochlorite shock treatment to prevent and treat algae growth.
  • Pool chemicals can pose serious hazards. The homeowner is responsible for any chemical contamination released into the environment.

If you have any questions, please call the Public Works Municipal Services Division at 805-449-2499.

Have pool chemicals that you need to dispose? Make an appointment to drop them off at one of our hazardous waste disposal days by going to our Hazardous Waste page.

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