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Closing your pool in the fall, what you need to know
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Canadian Home Workshop Magazine
Ready to close your pool? Hereís what you need to know

NOTE: Most of this data comes from the City of Ottawa, however much of the information can be applied to our (What about Clarence-Rockland residents?) community. We have to divide this information into two areas:

  1. Residents who live on a sewer system;
  2. Residents who live on a septic tank system.

As summer draws to a close, itís time to prepare your backyard pool for winter. As most pool owners know, there is a right way and a wrong way to proceed.

1. The following information is of particular interest to people living in a municipal setting with a sewer:
Draining large volumes of chlorinated water is not quite as simple as pulling a plug. Chlorinated water, as well as salt water, contains chemicals that can be harmful to wildlife in and around streams, creeks and rivers. When disposing of pool water, it is important to pick a method that reduces the negative impact on the environment and on your neighbours.

The first step for disposing of pool water is to remove the chlorine. Let the water stand for one week without adding chlorine or use a dechlorination additive available at your local pool store.

Next step, select a disposal method:

  • Drain dechlorinated water onto your lawn, as long as it does not run onto a neighbouring property, over a valley or into a ravine, or
  • Drain dechlorinated water into a storm drain on a dry day (to prevent overloading of storm sewers). Before doing so, it is essential that pool water is free of chlorine, algaecides, fungicides, debris and algae, as once the pool water enters a storm sewer it is directed without treatment to the nearest creek, stream or river. Care must also be taken to ensure that the road and surrounding properties are not impacted.

If you live within the City of Ottawa and are on the sewer system, it is against the bylaw to drain your chlorinated and/or salt water pool into the storm sewer system. The penalty could be a $300 fine for a first offence, and up to $5000 for repeated offences.

If you cannot dechlorinate the pool water, the only available option is to drain chlorinated water into the sanitary sewer by running a hose to an indoor drain such as a utility tub. (In Ottawa) this will ensure that the water is treated at the City's wastewater treatment facility.
(
Caution: If you do drain your pool into a utility tub, monitor the process carefully because the water could easily back up and overflow the tub.)

NOTE: Some in-ground pools have a drain line connected to the sanitary sewer; contact a plumber for more information.

Salt water should never be discharged to a storm sewer because of the harmful effects on the environment. It can be drained to the sanitary sewer, removed by a licensed wastewater hauler or discharged onto the owner's property provided there is no impact on surrounding properties.
(
Caution: If you drain salt water onto your property, make sure that it does not impact on your neighbour's property. Also, salt water may have a negative effect on your lawn.)

The City of Ottawa's Sewer Use By-law (2003-514) regulates the disposal of pool water. Contravention of the by-law may result in a fine ($300 for a first offence and up to $5000 for repeated offences).

City of Ottawa residents: Sewer Use BY-LAW NO. 2003-514
SWIMMING POOLS
18. (1) No person shall discharge wastewater from a swimming pool or wading pool:
(a) such that it flows directly or indirectly to a storm sewer or storm drainage system;
(b) such that it flows onto an adjoining property;
(c) such that it flows over a valley or ravine wall; or
(d) such that it may cause erosion or instability of the valley or ravine slope.
(2) Wastewater from a swimming or wading pool shall either be transported away by an appropriately licensed waste hauler or be discharged either by way of a temporary connection to the sanitary sewer or by way of controlled discharge to the owner's property such that the discharge is at all times contained within the property until it evaporates or infiltrates into the ground.

2. The following information is of particular interest to people living in a rural setting with a well and a septic system:
Firstly
, common sense suggests that you should not empty your pool into your septic tank (some people have tried it either directly into the tank, or through an inside drain that goes into the septic tank). Why?

  • a) Because the volume of water will overflow the tank and drain field, and
  • b) the chlorinated water, as well as salt water contains chemicals that will kill beneficial bacteria in your tank.

Secondly, you should not empty your pool into local ditches because the water will ultimately drain into a creek or river system and chlorinated water, as well as salt water, contains chemicals that can be harmful to wildlife in and around streams, creeks and rivers.

To repeat, the first step for disposing of pool water is to remove the chlorine. Let the water stand for one week without adding chlorine or use a dechlorination additive available at your local pool store.

Next step, select a disposal method:

  • Drain dechlorinated water onto your lawn, as long as it does not run onto a neighbouring property, over a valley or into a ravine
  • Draining salt water is again a problem because of the adverse effects either in ditches or on your lawn. Ideally pick a piece of your property where the salt water will dissipate into the ground safely.

By following these simple steps you are practicing responsible pool care and making your own important contribution to protecting our environment.

Hint: Stop chlorinating after Labour Day weekend and start draining after Thanksgiving weekend.

What about Clarence-Rockland residents?
While the information above pertains to the City of Ottawa, it may be used as general guidelines for residents of Clarence-Rockland.

In speaking to an official with the Clarence-Rockland Bylaw Department we learned that they are studying the current bylaw, with a view to updating it. With an increase in private swimming pools and with the latest innovation of using salt water in swimming pools, the process of discharging water into the storm sewer system is becoming a concern.

Both the Clarence-Rockland Bylaw Department and the Environment office are working on to update bylaw 2007-50.
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Here are some other tips for above ground swimming pools:

Installing your own pool

(Click on pic to enlarge)

If you are doing-it-yourself, do a Google search using the following phrase:
"
how to install an above ground pool".
You will find all kinds of helpful links, including several You-Tube references.

Winter cover that
drains itself.
More...


Pool Cover Pump
for Winter Covers

Draining pool water


(Click on pic to enlarge)


(Click on pic to enlarge)


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You should also check the City of Clarence-Rockland By-law 2007-50, concerning the security around private swimming pools (inground and above ground) and spas. It offers information on permits, pool location, fencing, accessory buildings, safety precautions and enforcement.
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Roof Repair or Replacement

Here is a link to a Web site that offers important notes and technical tips on how to look after your roof. It includes:

  • Roof Repair or Replacement
  • Leaky Roof? Some Repair Tips
  • Removing Old Shingles
  • Black Roof Stains? Check for Algae
  • Cool Roofs
  • Asphalt Shingles 101

Click here for more information.
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Is your smoke alarm working?

In the wake of recent tragic multiple fire fatalities Ontario Fire Marshal Bernard Moyle is appealing to the public to double-check that their smoke alarms work.

"Winter is the deadliest time of year - the number of fire deaths and injuries start to climb significantly in November and December and continue rising until spring," Moyle states. "Having working smoke alarms on every level of your home, especially outside sleeping areas, and knowing two ways out of all rooms, greatly increases your family's chance of survival. Here are some tips:

For more information on fire safety, check out our Fire News.
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Planning on renovating?
If you are planning on renovating, you may want to get in touch with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). They offer "a step-by-step approach to planning your renovation project, including a list of resources to make your project successful.
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Canadian Home Workshop Magazine
Looking for terrific tips, tricks and time-savers? Look no further than the Canadian Home Workshop. Since 1977, Canadian Home Workshop magazine has been inspiring woodworkers and DIYers with project ideas and plans, shop tips and techniques, and practical renovation and home maintenance information. Example...
Time saving tips for home and work.
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  • Burning regulations
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  • Water wells

Click Here


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