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Toronto pool bylaws regulate the disposal of swimming pool water

According to revised City of Toronto’s Policy on Water Services, we can no longer treat wastewater from swimming pools as we have in the past.

The City of Toronto has outlined maximum chemical readings for water that is illegally dumped on city streets or in storm sewers and will fine both pool companies and homeowners that do not comply.  The new policy affects 2 groups of pool owners:

1.  Regular Pool Covers Using Chlorine: For most customers with chlorine or bromine pools, pool openings and pool closings will proceed as usual.  For pool openings, the water on your winter cover can be pumped to the streets, as it is chemical free.  For pool closings, and in our effort to comply with the City of Toronto’s Bylaws, Bremner Pool & Spa has installed de-chlorination equipment on our pumps in order to neutralize residual chlorine.  However, when it comes to weekly backwash you must comply with the same guidelines. If you are running backwash into the storm sewer, you will need both a small cartridge filter and a de-chlorinator installed to clean the backwash water and neutralize the chlorine.  It is acceptable to backwash into a sanitary sewer or onto your lawn without running onto a neighbour’s property.

Note: Safety Covers – These are treated the same except at pool openings: if there is still a chlorine reading in the water, we will need to use de-chlorinating tablets.

2.  Salt Pools with Regular Pool Covers:  For pool openings, we can pump the water on the cover to the street.  However, a problem does exist for pool closings and weekly backwash, as the city will not allow this water in their storm sewers. There are no exceptions – it is impossible to de-salinate the water. That said, a few exceptions do exist:

(a) You can hook up your backwash line to your sanitary sewer.  This is an expensive option and you would have to ensure that any excess water flow will not backup into your basement.

(b) The second option is for salt customers to lower their water level with a small submersible pump and garden hose, running it off into a laundry sink or any access to a sanitary line.  The process is slow and will require planning.  Several pool service companies used this method last fall with some success.  Both pool openings and pool closings can be handled this way, however, regular backwash of sand filters cannot.  Unfortunately, if a larger volume sanitary drain line cannot be accessed, the only solution would be to change your sand filter to a cartridge system.

Read more about pool opening and closing best practices.

Contact Bremner Pool & Spa today for professional indoor and outdoor pool opening services.  Free Quotes Available.

About Bremner Pool & Spa:  Established since 1981, Bremner Pool & Spa is one of the premiere swimming pool service companies in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).  We operate 8 state-of-the art pool service vehicles and offer a variety of high quality and eco-friendly pool products & services including pool openings, partial pool openings, pool closings, weekly pool service, leak detection & repair, heaters, liners and pumps.  Please know that Bremner Pool & Spa complies with all City of Toronto By Laws for Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas.

Areas of Service: We provide pool services throughout the GTA including Ajax, Durham, East York, Forest Hill, Markham, North York, Oshawa, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Thornhill, Unionville, Vaughan and Whitby, Ontario.