Evacuating water from a swimming pool: what rules should be respected? What does the law say?

Owning a private swimming pool rhymes with pleasant moments of swimming during the summer season and also embellishing the exterior of your house, which thus increases in value. But, who says private swimming pool, says the absolute necessity to maintain it. This maintenance involves in particular the obligation to evacuate the water from its basin, in part or entirely, on the occasion for example of its wintering or if a repair becomes necessary. The evacuation of water from a swimming pool is strictly governed by legislation. In particular, discharging it into the public wastewater network is in principle prohibited unless authorization has been obtained from the local public authorities. An authorization which also implies compliance with specific rules, particularly in terms of pollution of the soil and surrounding waters.

The principles enacted by the legislation in terms of draining water from a swimming pool

The evacuation of waste water, and therefore of swimming pool water, is strictly regulated by law, more specifically in article R1331-2 of the Public Health Code which prohibits any introduction into waste water collection systems. drain water from swimming pools which, by the way, are not considered domestic water.

Any breach of this regulation is liable to sanctions because, in this case, the owner of a swimming pool is considered civilly liable for the damage that the evacuation of water into nature or into public wastewater networks may cause. , damage which constitutes an offence.

However, article L1331-10 of the Public Health Code, which recalls this prohibition, specifies that the evacuation of swimming pool water is possible provided that it is expressly authorized by the public authorities. The Public Health Code thus stipulates that “ Any discharge of waste water other than domestic into the public collection network must be authorized in advance by the mayor or, when jurisdiction over collection at the site of the discharge has been transferred to a public institution for inter-municipal cooperation or to a mixed syndicate, by the president of the public establishment or the mixed syndicate, after notice issued by the public body in charge of the transport and purification of waste water as well as the treatment of sludge downstream, if this community is different ” .

In other words, the owners of a private swimming pool are prohibited from discharging the water from their swimming pool into the waste water collection systems, unless they are authorized to do so, i.e. have obtained an exemption. the mayor of the municipality or the management of their intermunicipal authority. These authorities have 4 months to respond. If there is no response from them within this period, the request for authorization to proceed with this type of pool water evacuation is worth a negative response.

If, on the contrary, the authorization to evacuate the water of its swimming pool in this way is granted, it is always accompanied by obligations, fixed by the public authorities, concerning the quantities of water which can be discharged and their quality required in the aim that this operation is not to negatively impact the waters of the network where the pool water is discharged.

Thus, the owner of a swimming pool may have to respect a maximum discharge rate, be obliged to install a retention in the form of a grid to prevent floating objects (leaves, twigs, etc.) from being sent into the network of public sewage.

To note : the mayor or the president of the public establishment for inter-municipal cooperation which authorizes this type of swimming pool water evacuation can request a financial contribution from the owner of the swimming pool concerned, which takes the form of a sanitation fee.

Be careful however, in all cases, in order to avoid any risk of pollution, evacuating the water from your swimming pool requires stopping its treatment, in particular if it uses chlorine, at least 15 days before it is emptied because this water is ultimately discharged into rivers and rivers, especially if the swimming pool is connected to the collective rainwater network, for example.

In the same way, if it is a swimming pool treated with salt water, which cannot in any case be evacuated into the ground or into the waste water networks, it is obligatory to call on a professional emptier, an expert experienced in the techniques of evacuation of all kinds of waste water.

In which cases is it necessary to evacuate the water from your swimming pool? How to proceed ?

Draining the water from your swimming pool may be necessary in several cases: when winterizing your swimming pool, which requires lowering the water level without however having to empty it completely, if a repair inside the pool is essential, if the latter needs to be renovated, if the pool’s filtration system becomes ineffective, if it is necessary to repaint the pool, etc., or, in the case of an outdoor pool, -ground, to empty the pool and thus be able to fold it and store it for the winter.

Given the legislation in force which prohibits any discharge of swimming pool water into wastewater collection systems without having had the prior authorization of the competent public authorities, several solutions are available to the owners of a private swimming pool to evacuate the water from their pond.

Thus, the infiltration of swimming pool water into the ground is the solution to be preferred as much as possible, provided that this procedure does not cause damage to its land and especially to that of its neighbour, as well as to the nearby public domain. This type of evacuation can be carried out, thanks to an evacuation pump connected to the swimming pool by pipes, by using for example a well or the spreading technique. In the latter case, it may be a question of recovering the water from the swimming pool using a garden hose and using it to water your garden, for example, or digging trenches on your land and install a layer of gravel in which the pool water is filtered before draining naturally into the ground.

Some swimming pools also have bottom drains, equipment located at the bottom of the pool which allows the evacuation of its water.

The other solution to evacuate the water from the swimming pool therefore consists, after having obtained authorization from the local public authorities (mayor, director of the public establishment for inter-municipal cooperation or even the mixed syndicate), to carry out this evacuation into the rainwater network or, if this does not exist, into the waste water network, with all the precautions given in the context of this authorization, and which must be observed.

Leave a Comment