Can i recycle my pool water?

Dispose of pool water correctly

Treated bathing water as well as pool-specific rinsing and waste water contain disinfectants and / or biocides as well as treatment aids as intended.

If bathing water is discharged from pools or rinsing and waste water from the basin, the legal requirements and the state of waste water technology must be observed.

Please follow our recommendations for legally compliant and, based on experience, practicable drainage of individual types of water and wastewater!

NOTE: The following recommendation refers to tried and tested methods of bathing water treatment using commercially available active chlorine preparations as well as inorganic pH correction and flocculation aids.
An analogous application to bathing water that has been treated with active oxygen is recommended, since such water also contains chemicals (e.g. sulphate from the use of peroxygen compounds).

1. Rinsing and cleaning water

Rinsing and cleaning water (including filter backwashing water), d. H. All wastewater from the chemico-physical pool water treatment is generally to be diverted into a mixed water or wastewater sewer (possibly the small wastewater treatment plant on site) in accordance with the legal provisions.

NOTE: If the rinsing and cleaning water is fed into your own small sewage treatment plant, it must be ensured that the cleaning performance of the system in accordance with the decision is not impaired by the chemicals contained in the rinsing and cleaning water. It is recommended to consult the supplier or manufacturer of the small wastewater treatment plant.

2. Pool water

Pool water from indoor pools or outdoor pools, if the active chlorine content is below 0.05 mg / l, can be disposed of outside specially protected areas (groundwater protection and conservation areas) in the following way:

  • Through extensive infiltration on own land (over closed green vegetation)
  • By discharging into a body of water (without the construction of internals)
  • By introducing it into a rainwater sewer in consultation with the sewer operator


  • A prerequisite for surface infiltration is a sufficiently large area with closed vegetation (e.g. meadow / lawn) with sufficient infiltration capacity. The surface infiltration must in any case be carried out in such a way that third-party rights are not violated, e.g. B. neighboring properties must not be watered. If in doubt, you should contact the responsible authority (municipality or water rights authority) before draining the pool water.
  • After disinfectants and disinfectants have been added to the bath water for the last time, it is usually necessary to wait at least 48 hours until the active chlorine content falls below 0.05 mg / l. In any case, before pumping out / pouring out the pool water, compliance with this limit value must be checked (e.g. using a commercially available so-called DPD colorimeter).
  • The discharge of pool water into a body of water must not cause an increase in temperature or an increase in the water flow of more than ten percent. Splash-like discharge is to be avoided.


Since it contains chemicals, pool water may at least not directly - d. H. without a soil passage - into the groundwater be introduced.

Any form of direct introduction into the subsoil (e.g. through shaft infiltration without soil passage) as well as the introduction into a flowing water or a standing water by means of permanent drainage equipment (piping) require one permit under water law according to § 32 Water Law Act.

Pool water, the overwintering additives and / or biocidal chemicals (e.g. algae control agents - "algaecides"), especially based on copper and silver salts, as well as more than 300 g salt / m(Sodium chloride in so-called brine baths) may not be allowed to seep away or be discharged into a body of water, but must be discharged into the public waste water network in coordination with the local sewer authority.


  • In the private sector, alternative processes (e.g. ozone / UV systems) and physical processes without a specific basis of action, but also additives based on silver and copper salts and ammonium sulphate are increasingly being used for pool water treatment. To protect your own health and the environment, it is strongly recommended that you only use state-of-the-art, tried and tested bathing water treatment processes and harmless chemical products.
  • A professional structural and technical execution of the bathing facility can also prevent the accidental drainage of rinsing and cleaning water outside of the sewage system from the outset. In case of doubt, it is in any case a lesser evil if pool water is (accidentally) discharged into the public sewage system than if cleaning or filter backwash water enters the environment in an uncontrolled manner.
  • Residues of swimming pool chemicals are allowed under no circumstances (not even after dilution!) are "disposed of" in the public sewage system or in any other way into the environment. Swimming pool chemicals that are no longer required must be handed in to the municipal collection points as problematic waste.


  • Water Law Act (WRG) 1959 in the current version, in particular § 32 and § 32a Paragraph 1, lit a and b
  • AEV water treatment, Federal Law Gazette 1995/892 in the current version
  • Quality Target Ordinance Chemistry Groundwater, Federal Law Gazette II 98/2010
  • Building and sewerage laws of the federal states

Source: Austrian Water and Wastewater Management Association (ÖWAV)

Photo: © Max Topchii,