Above Ground Pools. Drainage And Backfill.
This is a subject that I discuss with many people regarding above ground pools. The majority of people looking at an above ground pool don’t think about this, and for good reason.
Why would I need to think about backfill around an above ground pool? It sets above ground right? Yes they do, and they are not designed to be buried in the ground. So what causes the issue with backfilling?
Nobody’s yard is perfectly level!
It would be nice if you could peel the sod off of the spot where you want an above ground and be good to go. It doesn’t work that way though. Of the hundreds of above grounds we have built, maybe a handful we did this with. Pretty much all above grounds have to have the hole dug down on one side to level the yard. Whether it is 6” or 26”, now you have a hole for ground water to run into. I have seen extreme cases where the yard was out of level 4’ or even 5’. At that point you really need to plan on doing some type of retaining wall around the pool.
So because of the slope in your yard, one side of your pool is setting down in the ground. Once the pool is completely full of water you need to backfill in around the pool with dirt. There will always be an over dig of around 2’ around the pool. This is the area that needs backfilled. You fill this area in with dirt, back up to the original ground level.
DO NOT use gravel for this process!!
With the dirt you are creating a water barrier for the pool. You want ground water to flow around your pool. If you do not backfill or use gravel, the water flows down into the over dig and runs under the pool. This will cause your sand to divot and wash out over time.
You want to backfill all the way around the pool. Cover up the bottom rails and plates with a layer of dirt to make the water barrier. Once your pool is installed, your installer will be able to explain what you need to do. You can now see what needs to happen with any backfill.
Why do you need to backfill an above ground pool? Because very few yards are level and you have to deal with any ground water coming through your yard. You want the water flowing around your pool, not under it.