Guidelines for Swimming Pools impacted by the Woolsey Fire

These guidelines are recommended for the maintenance of swimming pools impacted by smoke and ash contamination or fire damage. Do not allow use of the pool until the following steps have been completed. Discharging pool water to the storm drain system is prohibited by law. Contact 310-456-2489 x 371 or mbuilding@malibucity.org with questions.

1. Clean the skimmer basket of debris and skim the surface with a pool net to remove debris.

2. Loosen contaminants by brushing the sides and bottom of pool and vacuum the pool.

3. Backwash and clean the pool filter. Discharge the backwash to a pervious surface (gravel or lawn).

4. Check the pH level and adjust to between 7.2 and 7.8.

5. Check the free chlorine residual and adjust to a minimum of 1.0 ppm for swimming pools and 3.0 ppm for spas and waders.

6. Ensure the recirculation system is working properly by checking the filter pressure and/or flow meter.

7. Debris removal and filter cleaning may be required several times in the weeks following the fire event.

8. Alternatively, a swimming pool service may be hired to clean the pool. Check for a valid business license.

Pools Impacted by Fire: Pools that contain burnt structural debris may be contaminated and cannot be cleaned at this time. Pools with only charred vegetation must be cleaned up. Dispose of charred vegetation in the green waste bin; ash from burned vegetation must be bagged and placed in the rubbish bin.

Deck Cleaning: Clean the pool deck and dispose of the debris. Do not hose down the deck to the storm drain system. Spray lightly to minimize dust and ashes from becoming airborne, then use a stiff brush or broom, or a mop and bucket to clean up the debris. The use of leaf blowers is prohibited in the Woolsey Fire area.

Draining Pools: Draining pools is not recommended. Discharging pool water to the storm drain system is prohibited by law. If it is necessary to drain the pool, the Civic Center Water Treatment Facility (CCWTF) may accept the water on a case-by-case basis. In general, the total dissolved solids for the water must be under 2,000 mg/L for disposal at CCWTF. According to Resolution No. 19-04, the rates for pool water disposal are set at $0.04/gallon. Contact the Public Works Department at 310-456-2489 with questions.

Pool Enclosure: If the enclosure has been damaged or destroyed, immediately install a temporary secure enclosure to prevent potential drownings or injuries. The enclosure must be at least 60 inches in height above grade. Construction materials can be chain link, solid wood, wrought Iron, or similar material. Gaps shall not exceed 4 inches to prevent access by small children. Gates and entrances shall be self-closing and self-latching. Use zip ties only to secure any access openings in the fencing to facilitate follow up inspections by city and county officials.

Mosquito Breeding: Under California Health and Safety Codes, Homeowners are responsible for preventing and abating any mosquito breeding on their property. Pools with standing water can breed thousands of mosquitos in just a few weeks. Do not empty the pool but take one of the following actions to control mosquito breeding in vacant swimming pools:

1. Mosquito dunks – A mosquito dunk is a donut shaped solid that can be put in the swimming pool water to kill mosquito larva and can be purchased at any hardware or garden shop. Mosquito dunks are safe to use around people, pets, birds, wildlife and fish. Mosquito dunks have been registered by the EPA for use in animal watering troughs and fish habitats. A standard mosquito dunk will last about 30 days. Use one mosquito dunk for every 100 square feet of surface area.

2. Mosquito fish – Mosquito fish are about the size of minnows and eat mosquito larva. Mosquito fish are self-sustaining and do not require any maintenance. If mosquito fish are used, chemicals (such as chlorine) cannot be added to the water because it will kill the fish.

3. Contact the Los Angeles County West Vector and Vector-borne Disease Control District at (310) 915-7370 for mosquito fish, additional treatment and further assistance or go to their website at http://www.lawestvector.org for more information.

[This information was supplied by the City of Malibu – for more information visit www.MalibuRebuilds.org]

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