Pool on a property with a septic system

stevo777

Bronze Supporter
Mar 25, 2021
51
St George, UT
Hi all,
We're in planning stages of putting in an in-ground pool. Our property is 1.75 acres, on a septic system. I understand that periodically ( maybe every several years) a pool may need to be drained for maintenance or other purposes. Although we have a relatively large parcel, the HOA does not permit discharging large quantities of water onto the property where it may flow onto adjacent parcels. Which, in our case, it would. And being on a septic system, there's no sewer system to discharge it into.

What do people do when they need to drain the pool in such a situation? Does it need to be pumped and trucked out?

As well, are there other routine maintenance tasks that need to be done, such as backwashing filters, which may discharge water? 400-500 gallons discharge is usually not an issue, but draining a 15k gallon pool is another matter.
 

NJpoolNoob

Member
Dec 27, 2020
24
Hammonton NJ
I'm sure the experts will chime in soon but as far as I know the only time you should ever have to drain a pool is for a major repair. Get a cartridge filter so you dont have to backwash. As for ever having the need to drain the pool, you could install a large French drain type system to slowly pump the water into. Basically just another leach field like your septic has. You could also divert your gutters and any other problem run off water so that it would be worth the effort to put in.
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
Hello and Welcome to TFP!!

If you are following TFP guidelines, you should never have to drain your pool. By using liquid chlorine, you aren’t adding excessive amounts of CYA. Unless you have a warranty issue, I can’t foresee a reason that requires the pool to be drained. What is your water hardness?
Regular draining and water exchange is not required with TFP method of pool care. However an acre of land should be enough to partially drain if you ever need to. You could always run the pump discharge into your leach field if you had to.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
28,443
Northern NJ
It is a valid question to plan for water discharge in planning for a pool. Water management is always a consideration. There are times in the life of a pool when draining is needed although it should not be regular or frequent. There are engineers who specialize in water management on properties.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
14,019
Houston, Texas
Completely draining the pool would be a rare event, however with a small submersible pump it could be done slowly over the course of several days so that the water has time to be absorbed into the ground and some evaporation can take place. A complete drain would only be needed for structural repairs, if then. Partial drains could also be done slowly, and only if needed to manage high CYA, salt, or CA. Fortunately you can keep an eye on CYA, salt, and CA with a good FAS/DPD test kit and adjust your chemicals before they get out of hand. Algae blooms can be cleared with the SLAM Process instead of draining the pool.

A cartridge filter will minimize water use to clean the filter. An oversized cartridge filter will require less frequent cleaning. Backwashing a sand or DE filter wastes hundreds of gallons of pool water at a time and would not be the best choice for homes with a septic field.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stevo777

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
6,426
Damascus, MD
I mean, what can you do really? I am also on septic and have a 1.4 acre lot. In addition, I am on a hill leading down to one of my neighbors. If I ever had to do a complete drain, I would simply do it as there is no other choice. You can do it slowly to allow the water to dissipate slowly. As president of the HOA at one time, I did get a complaint from a neighbor about another neighbor emptying their pool and flooding their yard for a bit. The water receded within a day or two. At that time I looked into the legal aspects and nothing illegal about it. That said, if you do something to cause actual damage to your neighbor, they would have cause to sue you for damages. As far as the HOA is concerned, not everything they put into the covenants is legal. When there is a question, the law will win out. Of course you don't want to be the test case. For now I would not worry about it as others have said, a total empty of the pool would be a rare event. But it does happen and with any luck you are on good terms with effected neighbors and can talk to them ahead of time to get their buy-in.
 

stevo777

Bronze Supporter
Mar 25, 2021
51
St George, UT
As for ever having the need to drain the pool, you could install a large French drain type system to slowly pump the water into.
In fact, HOA requires such a system to catch runoff from roof and hardscape on all new construction. I had to install one ( a 10’ x 10’ x 10’ deep pit filled with rock) when we built an 800 sq ft casita a few years ago. It’s surely not big enough, and on wrong side of the house, to support a pool. It’s possible there may need to be another one. The permitting and approval process will be interesting indeed. Thanks to all who responded!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mdragger88

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
2,495
Chandler AZ
Anyone else in your neighborhood have a pool? Maybe talk with them about what they were required to do. At least it will provide some background into the process.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stevo777

stevo777

Bronze Supporter
Mar 25, 2021
51
St George, UT
@proavia yes, neighbor next door just built a home and pool, I’m talking to her. As well, I plan to invite a proposal from the PB she used. That is, if I can get him (and other PBs ) to return my calls. They all are extremely busy.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
8,645
Southern OK
I am in an HOA but not a communist one LOL.. no water runoff, do they know rain is good for nature and slow runoff is what you want... With that said I bet you could hook up some kind of sprinkler system and pump thousands of gallons out of it a day and no one would say a thing.. if they asked, tell them your deep soaking the lawn for better greening and nitrogen intake... they will walk away thinking your a grass snob :)
 
  • Haha
Reactions: imrodee

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

stevo777

Bronze Supporter
Mar 25, 2021
51
St George, UT
@cowboycasey good idea, but no lawns here, it’s desert. Lots of sand, cactus, sage, and mesquite. Erosion is a big problem, hence the strict rules about runoff. Unfortunately we are not on a wash, otherwise it could go there no problem. Going hiking with the new neighbor tomorrow, will ask her how they solved it, if they did, and if she even knows.
 

stevo777

Bronze Supporter
Mar 25, 2021
51
St George, UT
Just to close this in the event someone stumbled by this thread in the future - if I need to drain the pool I will simply do so slowly, with a submersible pump into the natural drainage area on my property. The land is mostly sand, quite permeable, so should disperse pretty rapidly. When I dump my 450 gallon spa the eater runs maybe 20 feet before disappearing into the ground. 15k gallons is a lot more than 450, but if I pump slowly over 2-3 days should be ok.
 
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.