Town officials, with the end of summer in sight, want local pool owners to dispose of the pool in what they say is an " environmentally responsible manner."

Conservation Director Alicia Mozian, in a statement released by Town Hall, said, "At this time of the year, many residents are preparing their swimming pools for the winter season. This process usually includes lowering the level of the water in the pool in order to make room for water expansion during the formation of ice. "

The Conservation Department and Department of Public Works list the following guidelines on disposing pool water in a way to protect natural resources:

- Wait at least a week after the last application of chlorine before preparing to discharge swimming pool water. The waiting period deactivates the chlorine and lessens the impact on wetlands and watercourses. As a safety measure, perform a chemical test on the pool water before its release.

- Discharging pool water into catch basins is an acceptable in Westport, if done in a responsible manner.

- Before discharging water, check the catch basin to determine whether it is connected to a functioning drainage system. Avoid any catch basin that does not have an outlet.

- Release the pool water slowly, over time, so it does not overburden the drainage system.

- In case of rain, the discharge should be halted immediately so that streets and adjacent properties will not become flooded.

- If a catch basin is not available, pool water may be discharged over the ground, provided that the point of discharge is a minimum of 25 feet from any wetland or watercourse.

- Discharge to the municipal sanitary sewer is prohibited.

- Residents are reminded that it is illegal to discharge pool water directly into a wetland or watercourse.

- Pool water containing active chemicals such as chlorine can kill lawn grass, trees and shrubs if discharged on the ground. Similarly, this water can contaminate delicate wetlands and damage aquatic vegetation.

For more information, contact the Conservation Department at 203-341-1170 or the Department of Public Works at 203-341-1120.