Monomoy Homeowner Fined After Discharged Pool Water Goes Into Harbor

Jason Graziadei •

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A Monomoy homeowner is facing a $1,000 fine from the Nantucket Health Department after his pool operator allegedly pumped out as much as 30,000 gallons of chlorinated water from the pool that flowed out of the yard, down the road and into Nantucket Harbor.

The fine was levied on Oct. 25 by the town’s chief environmental health officer John Hedden against Hale Everets, the owner of 46 Monomoy Road, along with the pool operator, Nantucket Oasis Pool & Spa. The $1,000 fine is the maximum allowed.

Following up on a complaint about the pool water headed into the harbor, Hedden and representatives from the town’s Natural Resources Department and the Nantucket Police Department responded to Monomoy Road.

“It was found that chlorinated pool water was discharging from the property and down the traveled way into the harbor,” Hedden wrote in an e-mail sent to the Board of Health. “I would estimate that 25,000 – 30,000 gallons of water discharged from the pool. The pool is a saltwater disinfecting pool however still does contain chlorine. Jeff Carlson and I could smell the chlorine all the way down on the beach, we each grabbed a handful of sand and could clearly smell it in the sand. The roadway also smelled of chlorine.”

Nantucket Health Department director Roberto Santamaria said this was the only fine that had been issued for pumping chlorinated water into a water body on the island over the past year.

“Unfortunately we don’t have a discharge bylaw or regulation yet, so we can’t fine anyone when it’s dechlorinated but this time we caught them in the act pumping chlorinated water,” Santamaria said.

Nantucket Oasis Pool & Spa issued the following statement about the fine from the Health Department:

“Pool water was drained into the yard as per Town instructions. Unfortunately a portion of the water overwhelmed the yard and flowed into the parking lot and then down the ramp toward beach/harbor. 300–plus foot distance. No chemicals had been added to the pool for two weeks prior to draining. Pool is approximately 25,000 gallons, we estimate 15 percent max could have made it to the harbor.”

The company has paid the fine and is not contesting the violation.

The property at 46 Monomoy Road is listed as a short-term rental that goes for $35,000 per week during the summer.

Nantucket Natural Resources Department director Jeff Carlson, who was among those individuals involved with responding to the complaint, said it’s a concern anytime chlorinated water is discharged into a natural environment.

“You’re worried about the immediate danger to the soil, the microbes, the things in the water column that are alive, as it can sterilize that local area for a period of time,” Carlson said. “It can do some damage.”

While the fine against the Monomoy Road property was the first this year, Carlson said there had been several subsequent complaints about chlorinated pools being pumped out and into natural environments like kettle ponds. The concern about chlorinated water is real, he said.

“Where you put it is important,” Carlson said. “Historically we see it get pumped into the street or natural vegetation and the time and care is not put into ensuring it’s not chlorinated. We say that people should be patient and wait for the chlorine to react off. There’s a life cycle to it, and before you discharge, they would be thoroughly testing the pool to determine the chlorine is gone and that it’s back to being pH neutral water. Sometimes that can take time, so patience is needed.”

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