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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 thousands of gallons of water a year to evaporation.

Pool covers reduce evaporation by up to 90 percent, limit windblown debris, and conserve energy.

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.

In the hottest months, pools can lose dozens of gallons of water each day to evaporation. Be water smart and protect your pool with a cover and regular equipment checks.

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 wastePool water must be drained directly to the sanitary sewer system, which allows the water to be recycled and reused. Find your pool clean-out port in order to drain to the sewer.

Never drain a pool into a septic tank, which can quickly overfill.

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.

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.

Clean-out ports

View examples of pool clean-out ports to help you track yours down.

An example of a pool clean-out port located in a landscape area.
A pool clean-out port is hidden in overgrowth.
A pipe style pool clean-out port.
An example of an enclosed pool clean-out port.
A pool clean-out port located in the sidewalk.
An example of a pool clean-out port in a yard.

The sewer clean-out port will likely be 3 to 4 inches in diameter and have a clamped, rubber cover or threaded cap.

If you have difficulty finding the clean-out port, it may be covered by landscaping.

The preferred port is usually located at ground level in the landscaped area of the front yard, close to the home. Some sewer ports may be embedded in the driveway or garage floor.

Some sewer ports may be within a wall. Use caution if this is the case, as wall-mounted ports create greater potential for water to back up into the home.

If there are two ports, use the port nearest to the home and not embedded in the wall.

Do not drain a pool into a septic tank, which can quickly overfill.

Replacing the water in your pool or spa

You do not need to notify the Las Vegas Valley Water District when you replace the water in your pool. However, keep in mind that filling your pool may place you into a higher water usage tier, resulting in a high bill and possible excessive use charge. Learn more about water rates.

Consult your pool care professional for maintenance questions, including advice on whether a partial water replacement or full water replacement is required for your pool's maintenance and/or water quality.

Interested in ditching your pool and replacing it with water smart landscaping? If your pool is currently in good working order, you may qualify for the Southern Nevada Water Authority's Water Smart Landscapes Rebate.

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 702-668-8674
Henderson 702-267-5900
Laughlin 702-298-3113
North Las Vegas 702-633-1275