How to drain a backyard fountain pool

Hi
We recently bought a house with a fountain in the backyard. The fountain is built with a rock cascade and a small pool set into the ground. The pool is about 2 ft x 6 ft and about 2 ft deep. During summer it was fun. Now that winter rains are starting, we are looking at a good way to keep the pool drained. We will not be using the fountain for the winter that much. But we want to avoid the standing water accumulating from the rain. We are in San Fransisco area. So no problem of freezing :-)
The pool seems to be a pre-fabricated sheet metal one which has been set into a hole in the ground. I can see a drainhole at the bottom center with a draincover similar to those you can see in the bathtub/shower stalls. Obviously the drain hole is closed for normal use. I can not find any way to open it up. What should I look for. Any way to find out if the drain hole is actually connected to a actual draining outlet ( the construction might have been done without that feature ).
We can periodically go and run the pump to remove the water. But we are looking for a option with less maintanence.
Any comments and suggestions from the experienced netters are highly welcome.
Thanks.
-Dipu
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Dipu) writes in article
-0800:

Might the drain hole lead only to the pump? In that case, running the pump would be pretty much the only way.
A couple of suggestions:
1. Put the pump on a timer, so it runs the fountain for 30 minutes per day.
2. Use a "sump pump" type setup, where the pump is triggered by a certain water level and it's set to pump the water out of the pool. You can buy a sump pump float switch and plug the fountain pump into that.
-- spud_demon -at- thundermaker.net The above may not (yet) represent the opinions of my employer.
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The problem is finally solved. A friend suggested to look for a outlet drain. Lookng around the fountain, hidden behind a bush, there was a draincover installed on the ground. When I opened it, I found a valve about 1.5 ft deep into the ground. That was the drain valve. When I opened it up, the water drained out completely. That solves my problem. I am going to keep that valve open for the rest of the rainy season. Of course now I have the nasty job of cleaning up the rotting leaves :-(
-Dipu
snipped-for-privacy@PROBE.MITRE.ORG (Spud Demon) wrote in message dated 19 Nov 2004 12:38:46 -0800:

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