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Man covering pool with tarp

Pool and spa tips

A properly managed pool or spa can be an appropriate use of water. Use these tips to reduce water evaporation.

Cover your pool

An exposed pool loses an average 50 or more inches of water per year to evaporation. During the hot summer months, you may lose up to 4 inches of water each week.

Pool covers reduce evaporation by up to 90 percent, limit windblown debris, and conserve energy. The Southern Nevada Water Authority offers a pool cover coupon.

Protect your pool from wind

Wind exposure can increase evaporation in uncovered pools. Plant trees and shrubs that buffer your pool, but won't shed or drop leaves in the water.

Maintain pool filters

Wash cartridge filters when your pump operating pressure increases by 10 pounds per square inch (psi). You can wash cartridges on landscape areas since chlorinated pool water is diluted with clean water. Never allow wash water to run into the street.

Heat your pool conservatively

Warmer water means higher evaporation rates. Professionals recommend 78 degrees Fahrenheit as the ideal recreational pool temperature.

Test for leaks

One of the easiest ways to find out if you have a pool leak is with a simple, four-step bucket test.

  1. Turn off the automatic fill valve.
  2. Place a bucket on a step, with the bucket rim at least a few inches above the water line.
  3. Place a heavy weight in the bucket and add water until the water level inside the bucket is equal with the water level in the pool.
  4. Leave the bucket and pool undisturbed for several days, then compare the water level in the bucket to the water level in the pool.

If the water level in the bucket is significantly higher than the water level in the pool, you may have a leak and a professional should be consulted.

Drain your pool or spa properly

Don't drain pool water into the street, gutters or storm drains: this is a violation of local codes and you could be cited for water waste. Do not drain a pool into a septic tank.

Draining your pool into the sewer system allows water to be treated and reused.

Some pools have their own sewer connection so you can drain your pool directly into the sewer system. If yours doesn't, use these tips to drain your pool:

Pool draining tips

  1. Shut off the power to the pool's filtration system at the circuit breaker and turn off the automatic water fill valve.
  2. Find the sewer clean-out port to access the sanitary sewer line. The port is usually located in the ground and close to the home, often near a water spigot. The port should have a rubber or threaded cap with a square wrench fitting and be about three to four inches in diameter.
  3. Run a drainage hose from the sewer clean-out port to the pool, and connect it to a submersible pump. Lower the pump into the deepest area of the pool, near the drain. As you drain, monitor flow into the clean-out port to ensure water doesn't back up into your home's sink and shower drains. If back-up does occur, stop and contact a professional plumber. The maximum recommended discharge rate is 12 gallons per minute—a safe pumping rate may be less. (Note: any hoses or equipment inserted into the sewer line can become contaminated.)
  4. After draining your pool, refill it as soon as possible. Direct sunlight can damage your pool's exposed plaster. It may take a few days for the fresh water to reach the proper chemical levels, so check the levels daily for a week and add chemicals as needed.
  5. Check pool-chemical levels daily for a week. It may take several days for fresh water to reach the proper chemical levels.

If your pool has a dedicated sewer connection, also known as an integrated system, refer to your owner's manual or contact your pool contractor for draining instructions.

You may want to consider contacting a licensed pool service or plumber if you're unsure about draining your pool or need assistance.

Municipal pool contacts

If you are on a septic tank, call the Southern Nevada Health District at 702-759-0571 before you drain your pool.

Call the appropriate municipality for other questions about draining your pool.

Property is located in: Call:
City of Las Vegas 702-229-7318
Boulder City 702-293-9200
Clark County 702-455-4191
Henderson 702-267-5900
Laughlin 702-298-3113
Mesquite 702-346-5237
North Las Vegas 702-633-1484