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Southern Nevada Water Authority

Pool Draining Tips

Pool Draining Tips

Get tips on the best way to drain your pool.

Before you drain your pool, consult with your pool professional and check your pool chemistry. It may be time to drain your pool if the:

  • Total dissolved solids (TDS) exceed 1,500 parts per million (ppm), or
  • Calcium hardness exceeds 350 ppm (or about 20 grains)

In addition, some pool companies offer mobile filtration systems which remove dissolved solids from your pool water without the need to drain it, reducing water consumption and possible damage to plaster.

Local water-waste ordinances and some water providers' service rules prohibit discharging pool water to the street or storm drain. Pool water must be drained directly to the sanitary sewer system, which allows the water to be recycled and reused. Find your pool clean-out port in order to drain to the sewer.

Never drain a pool into a septic tank, which can quickly overfill.

How to Prevent Back-Up

  1. The safest flow rates are 12 to 15 gallons per minute (gpm) or less.
  2. Higher flow rates (up to 90 gpm) must be aggressively monitored during the drainage process to prevent problems.
  3. Watch your hose. The force of the water can cause it to dislodge. Also, make sure the hose is securely inside the drain, but not obstructing the main wastewater flow.
  4. Monitor the lowest-lying drains in your home. Any back-up will likely appear there first.
  5. If back-up occurs, stop draining your pool and contact a plumber or a licensed pool service company.

The information on this page is provided as a public service by the Southern Nevada Water Authority and has been reviewed and endorsed by the Southern Nevada Chapter of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals.

These are general guidelines and are intended for informational purposes for private, residential pools only. The user shall assume all risks. For public-pool regulations, contact the Southern Nevada Health District at (702) 759-0571.


Video: How to drain your pool


Make sure you know the proper methods and codes before draining your pool. Play

Photos: Pool Clean-Out Ports


View examples of pool clean-out ports to help you track yours down. See

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