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Pool water recycling has become more widespread due to environmental concerns. By filtering and cleaning pool water, reusable resources are created that are both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Nevertheless, there are a few things to keep in mind when recycling pool water, not the least of which is water quality and its potential impact on the environment.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you will be able to make the most informed decision on the best way to recycle your pool water and reap the benefits of a more sustainable pool.

Is it a good idea to drain a swimming pool?

It is not recommended to drain your pool completely unless there is a substantial build-up of scale within the pool, the water is excessively degraded, or the pool is in need of renovation.

A complete draining of a pool does not only waste a lot of water, but it also damages the structural integrity of the pool.

Pool water treatment prior to recycling

Recyclable water is primarily obtained from filter cleaning operations or pool draining (totally or partially).

It’s critical to note that pool water contains chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that any recycled pool water is tested and deemed safe for release into the environment. The treatment required will vary depending on the product used to treat the pool water, such as chlorine, salt, bromine, or active oxygen.

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    Recycling pool water for irrigation

    Recycling pool water can primarily be used to water your garden. However, it is important to keep in mind that pool water contains chemicals that may be harmful to certain species of plants.

    Ensure that the chlorine, salt, bromine, or active oxygen levels are appropriate before reusing pool water for irrigation. To reduce the level of these chemicals in the pool water, let it evaporate for a few days before using it for irrigation.


    By reusing pool water for irrigation, you can reduce your overall water consumption.


    In pool water, there may be chemicals that are toxic to certain plants.

    Recycling pool water treated with chlorine, bromine or active oxygen

    If you intend to use a chlorine-treated pool to water your plants, it is recommended that you wait at least one week for the active chlorine agent to dissipate. Check the chlorine or bromine levels regularly during this period using the test strips you usually use. Additionally, chlorine and bromine neutralizers are available. At normal levels, active oxygen is harmless to plants.

    When the chlorine level in the water is low enough, it is suitable for watering your garden plants. Storing the water in a tank and allowing it to sit for a few days before being used ensures that the chlorine and other active agents have dissipated, and the water is safe for your plants.

    How to reuse salt-treated pool water

    You can use salt water to irrigate your plants, but not all tolerate it. To ensure your plants remain healthy, it is important to measure the salinity of your irrigation water before using it.

    To achieve this, test strips can be used to determine the salt level. In addition, you can maintain healthy plants by knowing which varieties are suitable for saltwater conditions. Here, you’ll find out which plant species are best suited to salt water.

    Pool filter backwash water recycling

    Backwash water, which comes from cleaning your pool filter, can be recycled and reused in your garden.

    A filter backwash typically consumes between 66 and 132 gallons (250 and 500 liters) of water. It’s usually dumped into the sewage system, so it’s wasted. Recycling water means it’s no longer wasted and can be used for other things, like irrigating plants and filling pools.


    Reusing water otherwise disposed of as waste is a benefit of this method. This not only conserves water, but also helps to reduce water costs.


    Backwash water may contain chemicals, sediment, and other particles that may not be beneficial for certain plants. In this regard, it is important to ensure that backwash water is compatible with your plants.

    Other ways of recycling pool drain water

    The draining of a pool has long been considered a waste of water, but today it is possible to turn this into an environmentally friendly gesture by reusing the drain water. Here are a few suggestions:

    Refilling the pool

    During swimming season, the pool’s water level drops by approximately 0.39 inch (ca. 1 cm) per day, due to evaporation. By storing the backwash water, you can reuse it to keep the pool full without having to add fresh water.

    Flush water supply

    If pool water is chemically cleaned, it can then be used for flushing toilets. It would be a very effective way to save water and the environment. Thus, it is a win-win situation for both the environment and your wallet.

    Pool decks and cars washing

    As an additional benefit, you will be able to save time and effort by using recycled pool water instead of tap water for the cleaning of your pool deck and cars.

    In addition to making substantial savings, reusing your pool water responsibly contributes to the sustainable management of water resources.

    Vidanger l'eau de votre piscine dans votre jardin : les méthodes

    If you want to drain the water from your swimming pool in your garden, here’s how to proceed, depending on the type of pool:

    Before draining your pool, check with your local municipality, as they might have rules regarding when and how you can undertake the project

    Draining an above-ground pool

    In the case of an above-ground pool, the easiest method is to siphon it off with a garden hose. Place one end of the hose in the pool and the other end in your mouth. It is important to take several quick breaths until the water enters. Then, point the hose towards your garden to drain the water. You may also be able to quickly empty the water from your swimming pool into your garden by using a vacuum pump.

    In-ground pool draining

    In the case of an in-ground pool, you will be able to empty the water into the garden using the multi-way valve on the sand filter. Close the skimmer valves and open the bottom drain valves. Then set the filter valve to the “drain” position and start the filtration system. If you don’t have a bottom drain, you can also use a pump to empty water from your pool into your garden.



    It is possible to reduce tap water consumption and protect the environment through the recycling of pool water.

    However, it is equally important to consider water quality and the effects of chemicals on the environment and on plants.

    If you take the appropriate steps to treat and recycle your pool water, you will be able to enjoy your pool in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.

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