While swimming pools are a great source of fun and relaxation, they can also prove to be headaches when it comes time to repair and maintain them. While it is quite a hefty task for the owner of the pool to maintain the water quality and drain it for structural repairs, it can also become a nuisance if you are the neighbor of a pool owner and the water happens to run into your yard.
Your neighbor’s pool water should not be drained in such a manner that it enters neighboring yards. Check with your municipality for any regulations on pool draining as methods can vary. If your yard has sustained damage from your neighbor’s pool water, you may need to speak to your neighbor, contact city bylaw, or hire a real estate attorney.
Aside from the lack of consideration that draining pool water into neighboring yards shows, it can prove to be a damaging practice to yards, gardens, and home foundations.
How Does Pool Water Damage a Lawn?
Pool water can be damaging to lawns and gardens especially if the water contains chlorine. Chlorine can kill and damage plants in large amounts and for this reason, pool water should be dechlorinated before it is drained.
For best practice, pool water should have a neutral pH before draining, as water that is too acidic or too alkaline can harm any nearby flora. Likewise, pools containing salt water can also prove to be harmful to grass and plants nearby.
It should be noted, that small amounts of chlorine and salt should not impact nearby yard quality.
What Should You Do if Neighbor is Draining Pool Water into Your Lawn?
1. Talk to Your Neighbors
If you have an amicable relationship with your neighbors, it may be worth speaking to them directly about your concerns with their pool water drainage. They may not realize that the water is significantly entering your property.
You can suggest that they drain the water from their pool with a hose towards road drainage systems and away from your property. If any damages have occurred, let them know about it.
2. Contact Your City Bylaw Officials
If you have already spoken to your neighbor or are not in the position to speak with them, you can contact your city bylaw officials about their pool water entering your property. Be sure to document your proof through pictures with date and time stamps.
Most municipalities have regulations around pool water drainage not entering neighboring properties and how it can be properly drained. They may come and inspect the property and leave a written notice for your neighbor that they are infringing upon local regulations.
3. Contact a Real Estate Attorney
If the aforementioned methods have not worked and your property has sustained damage, you may need to hire a real estate attorney. Be sure to document your experience, including any pictures of the water entering your yard, the damage it has caused, and if you have spoken with the neighbor about this or not.
Initially, they may send a letter to your neighbor asking them to cease this behavior. If they continue to drain their pool water into your yard, the attorney may pursue further legal action as they are familiar with any related local laws.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?
1. Take Photos of the Incident
Documenting any water that entered your property along with any damage it has caused is one of the best forms of proof to have if you need to pursue legal action for any damages. Pictures will usually be date and time-stamped.
Be careful, however, not to document any neighbors or people in your images as this can impede on privacy laws. Pictures of the water on your property, the source, and the damage that was done should suffice.
2. Test Your Soil in Damaged Areas vs. Undamaged Areas
You can test the pH of the soil in affected areas of your yard and compare it to the pH in unaffected areas of your yard to prove whether or not the pool water has impacted your yard.
3. You Should Not Harass Your Neighbors
While their pool water draining into your yard can be a nuisance and cause damage, the situation can be escalated too far, causing unnecessary conflict in your neighborhood. For your safety and peace of mind, only approach your neighbor with your concerns if you have an amicable relationship.
If that conversation does not go well or if the pool water drainage continues into your yard, then you should reach out to your local bylaw officials, or a real estate attorney as they will further your case with legalities in mind.
4. Try Blocking and Draining the Water Away from Your Lawn to Mitigate Damages
To prevent your neighbor’s pool water from entering your lawn, you can create a water barricade on your property using sandbags or create a trough in your yard to divert the water away from your property.
Your neighbor draining their pool water into your yard can be a difficult situation to navigate. You have to decide whether or not to approach your neighbor directly and be prepared to take formal action if any damages occur or if they continue to allow their pool water to fill your yard. It is ultimately the responsibility of the pool owner to know the local regulations of pool water drainage but it can empower you to know them as well.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.