Do I need an overflow drain?

RollTideTXJanuary 16, 2011

PB says I don't really need an overflow drain. Live in the country on several acres. Flat yard. Seems like it is not a good thing for the pool to overflow in heavy rain. Any thoughts?

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sceadu

Better to have the overflow controled through one point than have it just bubble over everywhere.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 1:32AM
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memama_gayle

I had the same recommendation from my pool builder but I am SOOO THANKFUL that I listened to muddy-water on this forum. It has been a life saved with heavy rain.
I highly recommend it!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 6:55PM
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poolguynj

Most auto fills have a knockout that should be a couple inches above the set water level to add a drain pipe to run the water away.

Scott

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 7:29PM
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RollTideTX

Thank you everyone for your feedback. I will make sure the builder puts the overflow into the plan. Not sure why they would advise against it. It really doesn't seem like an area where they are going to save a lot of money.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 8:42PM
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poolguynj

It can make setting the autofiller a bit more of a challenge. The float valve is adjustable, the drain level, once set, is not.

Scott

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 9:37PM
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just-a-pb

Some skimmers come with a knock out drain hole as well.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 9:06PM
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racket

"I will make sure the builder puts the overflow into the plan. Not sure why they would advise against it.."

In Western Washington, the pool water must go to a sanitary sewer line. So if there isnt one available, there can be a huge extra cost to install one.

That's why we rarely do them.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 10:28PM
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cakelady_2010

We were talked out of an overflow drain also. Our pool is still being built...so I do not have experience with the long term benefits though his point was it would be a huge waste of water. Every time you have several swimmers, add a couple of floats, the water level will raise and will drain off. When the swimmers get out of the pool you,(or auto fill) will add water to the pool every time this happens.

On the down side during a bad Houston rain/thunder storm, I will be out around my house draining water off with the DE filter valve to avoid the pool draining in my yard. Not something I'm looking forward to! I'm considering other options, (if there are any) at this point, though I think that is a whole other thread :)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 7:41AM
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poolguynj

Properly set overflows are 2-3 inches above the normal operating level that the float valve is set to.

The waves generated by pool activity is generally buffered from that energy. The autofill's port to the pool is below the pool surface. Inside the autofiller is generally very calm.

Activity in the pool doesn't create a continuous cycle of displace/refill.

Scott

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 8:13AM
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aanay_pw_cccounty_us

As part of new regulatory requierments from the Clean Water Act, any overflow must be plumbed to the sanitary sewar line. Plumbing to the storm drain system is no longer an acceptable practice. Only rain down the storm drain is allowed. Discharges of this nature will be considered illicit and illegal and enforcment actions can be taken by your local regulatory agency. Just a word of advise to help avoid issues down later down the road.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 4:29PM
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melderman

Have one off the top back of Skimmer. No reason not to.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 4:57PM
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mas985

A pool overflow is usually plumbed into the pool wall well below water level so when it rains the rain is added to the surface water and it is the pool water that gets pushed out of the overflow so it contains chlorine. The overflow could get called during an inspection so it is best to make sure your city allows one.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 7:41PM
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poolguynj

CCC,

Where are you getting this info? Pool overflow is not pollution. Pool water is generally potable. Rain is not pollution. I can safely dump either into the storm sewers as long as the pH is near neutral and the FC is low enough that it won't cause a fish kill. An overflow from a pool won't have enough, nor would 100. If I need to dump a pool for service, as long as I neutralize the FC, I am in fine shape.

What part of USC 33 Chapter 26 would I violate?

Scott

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 7:41PM
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memama_gayle

The overflow that is in our pool has a cap that I can fully close or a cap that screens out debris.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 9:49PM
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poolguynj

@mas985 - while I agree there will likely be some chlorine in the discharge of an overflow, consider how diluted it would be upon hitting the storm sewer system, not to mention that the FC would likely combine with something or, because of the flow, would also gas off, further reducing it's presence at the discharge point down stream of the sewer.

Laws on the left coast might differ, as they often do but those would be local, not federal. It's not like a lot of residential pools have overflows connected nor are they riverside factories spewing whatever waste water they generate.

Scott

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 4:51AM
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mas985

Scott, I agree that chlorine would be unlikely to cause much of an issue yet alone make it to a river or ocean but that is not how regulators think. If it makes it out of the pool, they don't want to take a chance.

I don't agree with the laws either given our tap water contains about 1.5 ppm of CC and with the overflow of lawns being watered, makes it to the same storm drain. But for some reason they are willing to accept that or perhaps there is little they can do about it. Even for the overflow, there is little they can do to enforce it.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:57AM
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kspoolman

Now thats some funny stuff right there!

The chlorine levels in my pools are typically WELL below the levels right from the tap water!! Dont even get me started with chloramines.

So should we end the use of all irrigation systems that drain off into the storm sewer, afterall they use water that has some chlorine in it??

Or better yet, lets overload the sanitary sewer system with runoff water! Great plan.

The problem with regulatory agencies is that most people establishing the regulations have NO clue as to what is actually happening out in the real world.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 10:19PM
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poolguynj

Found this on Contra Costa County's web site:

"Discharge your pool/spa/fountain into the sanitary sewer or onto landscaping."

Its OK for landscaping? But a storm drain is a no-no?

Also found this nugget:

1014-4.006 Prohibited discharges.
(a) The release of illicit discharges to the county stormwater system is
prohibited.
(b) The following discharges are exempt from the prohibition set forth in
subsection (a) of this section: flows from riparian habitats and wetlands;
diverted stream flows; springs; rising groundwater; and uncontaminated
groundwater infiltration.
(c) The following discharges are exempt from the prohibitions set forth in
subsection (a) of this section if the regional water quality control board
approves the exempted category under Section C.11 of the county�s NPDES
permits: uncontaminated pumped groundwater; foundation drains; water from
crawl space pumps; footing drains; air conditioning condensate; irrigation
water; landscape irrigation; lawn or garden watering; planned and unplanned
discharges from potable water sources; water line and hydrant flushing;
individual residential car washing; discharges or flows from emergency fire
fighting activities; and dechlorinated swimming pool discharges. (Ord. 2005-
01 � 3, 96-21 � 3).

Scott

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 3:56AM
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