How to Reuse Your Filter Backwash Water

This is an article by Stan Greberis – the creator of the Eco Pool Drain.

Heavy rains can overwhelm any swimming pool’s filtration system as the water level rises above the intakes, necessitating regular releases of pool water. All pool owners have watched in utter dismay as the force of the water emanating from their waste water hose erodes the soil and ultimately creates a sizeable gully.

Discharging water down any hard surface leading into the storm sewer is not a good solution and may be prohibited. Treated pool water is known to harm the local waterways.

Some within the industry may advise you to; release the water at night until it reaches the storm sewer or waterway. By daybreak no one will be the wiser.

A long search eventually brought me to a solution that worked for me. But the purpose of this article is not to promote one solution over another.

Each pool may have unique needs based on soil consistency, property size, distance from the sanitary sewer plumbing, availability of tanker truck services for pool water removal, available space for a dry well (in areas that approve of this method of pool and/or waste water disposal) and the budget of the home owner.

The Unspoken Problem of Backwashing Your Filter

How to Reuse Your Filter Backwash Water

How to Reuse Your Filter Backwash Water

How to Reuse Your Filter Backwash Water

How to Reuse Your Filter Backwash Water

Examples of Backwashing Solutions Available Today

1. Governmental Pool Water Release Permits

Some localities allow for pool water to be released into storm sewers and it may require the pool owner to file for a permit. Typically applications are submitted on a case-by-case basis and pool owners are usually required to follow strict steps to dramatically reduce and/or eliminate chemicals and/or salt levels prior to releasing water.

You should contact the local government authority for information regarding your responsibilities when discharging pool water.

2. Plumbed Directly to Your Homes Sanitary Sewer

Connecting your pool to a home’s sanitary sewer clean-outs is usually an approved method of releasing or disposing of pool water.

Most governing bodies prohibit releasing pool water into a home’s septic system.  Check with your locality for allowable flow rates and PH levels.

3. De-chlorination Products for Swimming Pool Water

Pool professionals should know that in some municipalities the penalty for releasing untreated pool water could cost the owner, operator or service contractor can be fined five thousand dollars per occurrence. Levels of concentration of certain pool water chemicals can be toxic to aquatic life.

These products are designed to make the pool water harmless to the environment.

4. Dry Wells

Check with the local governmental office regulating swimming pools to determine if a permit is required for the construction of a dry well. If so, you will need a qualified contractor to build it.

This solution entails the use of light or heavy equipment, appropriate access and adequate space. A hole must be dug somewhere on your property that is capable of handling a minimum of several hundred gallons of water at a time.

The dry well gets connected to your pool by though an underground plumbing network. The hole is then filled with a thousand or more pounds of gravel stone and then topped off with a foot or more of soil until it is even with the surrounding area. The equipment may leave surface ruts and the overall area may require additional soil and surface grading followed by the application of grass seed or sod. The dry well is now ready use and it will be the receiving point for your backwash and excess water.

The well is designed to allow the water to filter through the stone fill and then finally to leach into the earth. This is an effective but rather costly method or complying with water management regulations. The pool owner should expect this solution to reach into several thousand dollars.

5. Run Off/Effluent Drainage Trenches

How to Reuse Your Filter Backwash Water

This remedy has been incorporated into the pool owners landscaping design. It is aesthetically pleasing while providing an environmentally friendly way of preventing the managed pool water from reaching waterways or neighbouring properties.

The rock bed can be installed either professionally or by the pool owner over several weekends. The needed materials are depicted above and are readily available at home improvement stores. This particular installation extends over 20 feet and contains over 2,000 pounds of large and small stones.

Although not as costly as a dry well this solution can easily approach close to a $1,000.00 if installed by the pool owner and much more if done by a contractor.

6. Fountain Pool Water Diffusers

Eco Pool Drain

This durable sealed unit is a maintenance free solution that easily connects to your pool pump. The kit includes a heavy duty waste water hose and two hose clamps that are tightened by turning the thumb tabs.

No tools are required for this installation. It can also be hard plumbed to your pool pump. The unit requires very little space. It can quickly disperse a large volume of pool water in a fountain-like manner, similar to rainfall.

The earth absorbs the water with little to no soil erosion or property damage and the unit self-drains when finished. This is an inexpensive solution that can be installed in minutes by either a pool service professional or the pool owner.

An added plus is that no tools are required for installation and most retailers sell it for around $100.00. Best of all its tranquil and REALLY FUN to watch!

How to Reuse Your Filter Backwash Water

Check out the Eco Pool Drain here.

Pool Water Management And The Pool Owner

The good news is that pool owners have plenty of options in managing the disposal of excess and/or backwash pool water. This article focused on some of the most popular choices.

The cost for solutions can range from thousands of dollars to less than one hundred dollars. Each pool owner has to determine which method or system fits their budget and willingness to undertake major landscaping and plumbing projects.

Most importantly, pool owners now have choices. Rather than constantly wrestling with hoses, these solutions are permanent, hassle-free methods of managing pool and backwash water.

Pool Water Disposal Regulations

A review of regulations from around the world was conducted in preparation for this article and common theme emerged. Each nation’s regulations encourage the disposal of pool water over a land surface and they all restrict pool water from entering a body of water without permits and strict adherence to discharge regulations.

I recommends that you review the laws and regulations before deciding what solution is best for you.

How to Reuse Your Filter Backwash Water

About the Author: Stan Greberis presently works full time as the Director of Training and Development for a Fortune 500 company. Earlier in his career he taught automotive repair at the local county vocational school. As such he is mechanically inclined and naturally inquisitive. It’s this background that led him to research and write this article.

Happy Swimming!

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