Sad time of year ....built the pool seven years ago. 20x40 and 10ft at the deep end with above ground side spa. Northern Virginia location.
I considered getting a tensioned cover (looploc, mcewen, etc) this year, but, again, decided to avoid the $3500 expenditure. So, pulled out the (third and last season) tarp cover, bought a few more water bags to replace the leakers from last year, and closed her up.
I have watched and considered and experimented over the years how best to remove water and leaves. We live in a heavily wooded area so I end up scooping leaves out a couple of times in the late fall and spring. Is this pretty common?
My other consideration has been how and when to pump water out ...and, how the cover interacts with the water under it and the water falling onto it. My covers have always seemed to leak water through ...I can't tell how much, though. When I have left the auto pump sitting on top of the cover it causes, over time, a low area to form due to the pump and then accumulated water around it, and I suspect a "transfer area" for water to migrate from pool to surface.
I get snow buildup at times, but it usually melts in a week or so as it warms due to weather and contact with the pool water which normally doesn't freeze ...I think because the level is about two feet below grade when I prep it for closing.
Would appreciate advice on how to keep water off the top, or if it is even important to do so if the bags stay in place and hold the cover with the accumulated water ...install pump only when a lot builds up? Sheesh ...