It is against the law in Medford to allow or cause anything other than stormwater to go down the stormdrains in Medford. This means that you may not empty your pool down your driveway and into the street in Medford. When you do so, you are polluting local waterways, like the Mystic River and Wright’s Pond. Everything dumped into a stormdrain ends up in our rivers and other bodies of water. Unlike the water we use at our homes, water that enters stormdrains is not treated before entering the waterways. Pools are treated with chemicals like chlorine and algaecides to prevent organisms from living in your pool. These chemicals produce by-products that are harmful to local water quality and the wildlife that live there. Organic material naturally found in the Mystic River or Wright’s Pond can react with the by-products from the pool water to create a highly toxic organic chemical.
You should drain your pool onto your lawn or other non-paved or porous area on your property, for example, you could drain it onto a brick patio, but not a concrete one. The water in the swimming pool should also be dechlorinated before draining: Allow the water to sit in the sun for a week without adding chlorine; or use a chemical dechlorination additive (contact a pool store for options).
When pool water is absorbed and filtered by the ground the water is naturally cleaned before entering local rivers and ponds. It might seem like more of a hassle draining your pool in your lawn but you are ultimately preventing harm to local waterways used for swimming, boating and fishing by the community.
For more information about how you can do your part in maintaining clean and healthy waterways, visit our website at: http://medfordenergy.org/gogreen/storm-water/
The relevant law is the Revised Ordinances of the City of Medford, Section 82-127. Municipal ordinances carry the weight of law.