To report a spill, call 970-476-GORE

In Vail, storm drains and sanitary sewers are not the same thing. Sanitary sewers collect wastewater from toilets, sinks, showers and washing machines. This dirty water passes through the wastewater treatment plant before it is discharged into Gore Creek. Any grates or drains that you see out on the streets and sidewalks are storm drains. These flow directly into Gore Creek without filtration. Whether you’re draining your hot tub or pool, or looking to dispose of unused paint or chemicals, a storm drain may appear to be the most convenient option. But dumping these liquids into the water is no different from dumping them directly into Gore Creek. Here are some simple, convenient ways to dispose of these substances properly.



Swimming pools and hot tubs may be drained to the wastewater collection system (i.e., a drain in your home) once a year, or as needed for repairs.

Follow these guidelines: 

  • Notify the District by telephone two (2) business days prior to draining a swimming pool.
  • Allow the pool or hot-tub water to sit for at least 5 days without adding chlorine or bromine, or until the chlorine or bromine levels are below 0.1 mg/L.
  • Ensure that the pH balance of the water is between 6.5 and 8.5 before it is discharged.
  • Ensure that the discharge water is free of any unusual coloration.
  • Do not discharge settled material with pool or hot tub water; total suspended solids must be below 60 mg/L.
  • Remove any solid chlorine or bromine tablets or pucks from the filtration system and disconnect automatic disinfecting devices well in advance of draining a pool, hot tub or other similar facility.
  • Control the drainage rate to less than 100 gallons per minute.

If it’s not possible for you to drain the pool or hot tub to the wastewater system, contact the Town of Vail or Eagle County for guidance.



Dispose of paint, thinners, and other household hazardous waste properly by bringing them to the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility at the Eagle County landfill. Don’t pour these items down a storm drain, a sink, or a waterway, as they will disrupt processes at the wastewater treatment facility or flow directly into Gore Creek. Residents can dispose of up to 20 items at the HHW facility (north of Wolcott) for free; local business are charged a fee based on weight or volume. Homeowners are required to show proof of residency and must fill out a certification statement prior to, or at the time of, disposal. For additional information, see

Use these tips to ensure proper disposal of household hazardous waste: 

  • The safest way to dispose of household hazardous waste is to use the product until it is completely gone.
  • If you can’t finish the product, share with neighbors, friends or professionals who may have use for it.
  • Read product labels for specific disposal instructions; if stated, follow manufacturer’s directions for proper disposal.
  • If instructions are not included, or if you are unsure about proper disposal of a product, contact the manufacturer or call Eagle County’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility at 970-328-3463.
  • Recycle the material whenever possible; if not recyclable, bring it to the HHW/CESQG facility.
  • Prescription drugs (non-controlled substances) and over-the-counter medicines are accepted at the HHW facility and the Rx Drop Box located at the Eagle County Sheriff’s office (885 Chambers Avenue, Eagle CO) Monday–
  • Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m at no cost. All personally identifiable information should be removed. For more information, call 970-328-8500.