Now that you have completed your research and decided that you're family is ready to move forward with the installation of a new In Ground Swimming Pool, you are faced with the decision of where exactly is the best location and elevation in your backyard.
Sure, looks are important but so is drainage!
Unfortunately, most homeowners do not fully understand how important this decision really is. The location and elevation of your swimming pool and pool deck are crucial in trying to eliminate any future potential issues concerning water drainage in your yard and underneath the pool itself. In this blog I will attempt to bring some planning tips to your attention.
First, you must fully understand that all (3) types of pools (vinyl liner, fiberglass & gunite) can be effected by the forces of Mother Nature. This includes but is not limited to surface water drainage and underground water. These (2) two issues are the most common culprits for the cause of damage to any in ground pool. You must have a sound plan to address these issues prior to the first scoop of dirt being removed from your yard.
CONTROLLING SURFACE RUNOFF. Ideally, you would want the pool and the surrounding patio to be the "highest" elevation point in your yard and the ground tapering away from your patio in every direction except towards the home. Unfortunately this is not always possible since builders generally do not consider the fact that some people may actually build a pool in their yard someday.
To achieve this "high spot", it may be necessary to utilize one or more retaining walls to level the pool area out and to appropriately control surface runoff.
Control of surface water is often achieved by using drains and catch basins and then connecting pipe to carry the water to another area of your property that will not cause any issues with your pool structure. By doing this, you can eliminate the water from seeping into the ground and then channeling under your pool and causing erosion problems over time. You can also help direct this surface water by forming "swale's" in your yard that will direct the flow of heavy downpours to another area of your yard.
And finally, you must consider all of the water that comes from your home's roof gutters. Most thomeowners do not realize the amount of water that is dumped into your yard just from your downspouts during and following rains. This water must also be directed to another area in your yard that will not result in water buildup or erosion under your pool or patio.
UNDERGROUND WATER. To deal with any underground water that may make it past all of your surface drains, swales's and pipes, we use a "culvert" at the deep end of your pool. This is basically a large round pipe set vertically in the ground starting a little deeper than the deepest point of your pool floor and ending at the deck level. We may also add a perimeter pipe that feeds the water around the outside perimeter of the pool and into the culvert. Whenever this culvert gets at least 1/2 full best practice requires the homeowner to drop a sump pump inside and run it until the culvert stays dry once again.
Most pools can be made to drain by gravity alone. But if water under your pool becomes an ongoing problem, you can have have a pump permanently installed in the culvert including a drain line and electrical hookup and have it set on a float control to come on and off by itself depending on the level of ground water inside the culvert.
Remember, once your pool location is excavated and the elevation for your patio and pool are set, it becomes very difficult and expensive to change at a later time. Use common sense and good judgment and most importantly...listen to the advise of a drainage expert prior to finalizing your pool location and elevation.
As you move forward to getting the pool of your dreams, be sure it is installed at the right location and elevation in your own backyard!!