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A family playing by the poolside

Pools and spas

Draining pools and spas

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. Monitor pool draining to assure the pump capacity does not exceed the sewer line capacity. Any equipment inserted into a sewer pipe, such as a garden hose, should be considered contaminated and used only for similar purposes in the future.

Clean-out ports

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

An example of a pool clean-out port located in a landscape area.
A pool clean-out port is hidden in overgrowth.
A pipe style pool clean-out port.
An example of an enclosed pool clean-out port.
A pool clean-out port located in the sidewalk.
An example of a pool clean-out port in a yard.

The sewer clean-out port will likely be 3 to 4 inches in diameter and have a clamped, rubber cover or threaded cap.

If you have difficulty finding the clean-out port, it may be covered by landscaping.

The preferred port is usually located at ground level in the landscaped area of the front yard, close to the home. Some sewer ports may be embedded in the driveway or garage floor.

Some sewer ports may be within a wall. Use caution if this is the case, as wall-mounted ports create greater potential for water to back up into the home.

If there are two ports, use the port nearest to the home and not embedded in the wall.

Do not drain a pool into a septic tank, which can quickly overfill.

Water-saving tips

A properly managed pool or spa can be an appropriate use of water. Use these tips to help save water.

Cover your pool

An exposed pool loses thousands of gallons of water per year to evaporation.

Pool covers reduce evaporation by 90 percent, limit windblown debris, and conserve energy.

Protect the pool from wind

Wind exposure can increase evaporation in uncovered pools. Plant trees and shrubs that buffer your pool, but won't shed or drop leaves in the water.

Maintain pool filters

Wash cartridge filters when your pump operating pressure increases by 10 psi (pounds per square inch). You can wash cartridges on landscape areas since chlorinated pool water is diluted with clean water. Never allow wash water to run into the street.

Manage water quality

Test pool and spa water frequently and maintain appropriate chemical balances.

Heat pool conservatively

Warmer water means higher evaporation rates. Professionals recommend 78 degrees Fahrenheit as the ideal recreational pool temperature.

Test for leaks

This four-step bucket test may help you determine if you have a leak or a high evaporation rate.

  1. Turn off the automatic fill valve.
  2. Place a bucket on a step where the bucket rim is at least a few inches above the water line. Place a heavy weight in the bucket and add water until the water level inside the bucket is equal with the water level in the pool.
  3. Leave the bucket and pool undisturbed for several hot days, then compare the water level in the bucket to the water level in the pool.
  4. If the water level in the bucket is noticeably higher than the water level in the pool, you may be losing water to a leak. Contact a pool leak detection specialist.


If you are on a septic tank or have other questions about how to drain your pool, contact the appropriate municipal agency.

All Areas
Southern Nevada Health District: 702-759-0571

Boulder City
City of Boulder City: 702-293-9200

Clark County
Clark County Code Enforcement: 702-455-4191
Las Vegas Valley Water District: 702-822-8571


City of Henderson: 702-267-5950

Las Vegas
City of Las Vegas: 702-229-7318
Las Vegas Valley Water District: 702-822-8571

Big Bend Water District: 702-298-3113

North Las Vegas
City of North Las Vegas: 702-633-1484

These are general guidelines and are intended for informational purposes for private, residential pools only. The user shall assume all risks. For further questions on pools and/or spas, please call the Southern Nevada Health District at 702-759-0571.