ButteCountyRecovers: The official website for Camp Fire response and recovery.

This information is regarding pools in unincorporated Butte County. Please check back for Town of Paradise guidelines coming soon.

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Steps for Cleaning Your Pool

The following guidelines are recommended for the maintenance of pools impacted by smoke and ash contamination or fire damage. Do not allow use of the pool until the following steps have been completed:

  1. Clean skimmer baskets of debris and skim water surface of pool with pool net to remove floating debris.
  2. Brush sides and bottom of pool to loosen contaminants and vacuum pool.
  3. Backwash and clean the filter, discharging waste to municipal sanitary sewer only. Connected to a septic tank system, discharge the backwash to a pervious surface (gravel, lawn, open space) to allow for infiltration without erosion. Backwash to the storm drain system (alleys, driveways, streets, storm drains) and creeks is prohibited by law.
  4. Check free chlorine level and adjust to minimum of 1.5 ppm.
  5. Check pH and adjust to between 7.2 and 8.0.
  6. Ensure the recirculation system is operating properly by checking filter pressure and/or flow meter.
  7. Due to the amount of smoke and ash in the air, these steps may need to be repeated after cleaning the filters.
  8. Alternatively, a swimming pool service company may be contracted to clean the pool. Check for their business license and experience in servicing pools. Pool service operators likewise are prohibited from discharging backwash to the storm drain system.
  9. Clean the pool deck and dispose of the debris with the rest of the solid waste. Don’t hose down the deck to storm drains. You may spray lightly first to minimize dust and ashes from becoming airborne, then use a stiff brush or broom to sweep up and put in trash. A mop and bucket could also be used for clean-up, disposing the waste water into a sanitary sewer line.
  10. Mosquito Breeding: Pools with standing water could breed mosquitoes. Please call Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District at (530) 533-6038 or (530) 342-7350 to have staff come and stock the pool with mosquito-eating fish until the power and pool recirculation system are restored.
  11. Damaged Pool, Enclosure or Recirculation System:
    • For Commercial Pools: that have had damage to the recirculation system, the pool enclosure or the pool shell must contact Environmental Health (530) 552-3880 for evaluation.
    • For Residential Pools: Please contact your local Building Department.

Steps for Draining Your Pool

Your swimming pool is filled with chlorinated water. When this water is discharged directly to surface waters— including lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and wetlands—it can negatively impact our waterways and be toxic to fish and other wildlife. If you have a swimming pool (above ground or in-ground) or hot tub, it is important that you properly drain it:

  1. If you live in the Town of Paradise limits, the Town will have additional information available soon.
  2. For unincorporated areas, you may drain the pool water on your lawn or ground area.
  3. De-chlorinate the pool water prior to draining it. Chemicals that will quickly remove chlorine are available through pool and spa care vendors. Carefully follow the directions on the product label. Many pools that have been unattended since the fire are probably free of chlorine. Chlorine levels greatly reduce over time if not maintained. It is still recommended to test your chlorine level before draining your pool.
  4. Drain the pool over a period of several days ACROSS your lawn following these guidelines.
  5. Direct the drainage across your lawn, and NOT down your driveway, into a storm drain or directly to wetlands or other water bodies.
  6. Do NOT drain your water onto public property or another person’s property.
  7. Do NOT drain your water into a private septic system.

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