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Thread: New Build (Water Seepage)

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    Nov 2015
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    Question New Build (Water Seepage)

    I am currently building a new inground roman style pool. It is an 18 x 43 diving pool. The builder has put up the Polymer walls and poured the bottom and sides and used gravel for the back fill behind the walls. The pool concrete outside decking has not been installed yet. I noticed a day after the bottom and slope was poured with concrete that ground water was seeping into the bottom of the pool at a slow rate and various areas of the pool wall and has not stopped. We had a very hard rain this past week and the water was coming in through the seams of the Polymer walls as well as the concrete at the bottom of the pool. The builder has informed me that this is fine and not to worry about it and that when the liner is installed it should fix any issues by the pressure of the liner against those areas.

    This is a big investment for me and I just see all these leaks and it makes me nervous that we are just covering up with the liner. Is this just part of it when ground water is present? He is putting a sump pump on the side of the pool by the steps which he said will keep it off the walls but I'm still concerned about all the water seeping at the concrete joints in the bottom of the pool and various areas of the walls. I appreciate any feedback you all can provide.

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    Re: New Build (Water Seepage)

    The builder is correct this is normal. However, it's something you don't want. With a vinyl pool you generally want the ground water below the pool. Once you install the liner the force of the water inside the pool should keep the liner pressed against the pool walls. If however the force of the water inside the pool is less than the force of the water outside your liner will float. There are numerous threads on here regarding floating liners.

    The solution to this problem ( and we don't know how much of a problem you have) are French drains. A good landscape contractor familiar with your soil can help you there.

    All vinyl liner pools leak water the pool structure is not water proof. The liner is waterproof. But vinyl liner pools and groundwater can be problematic. They do not mix well.
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    JamieP's Avatar
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    Re: New Build (Water Seepage)

    You might also look into drywells around the pool where a pump can extract the groundwater. I've seen threads on this site about them in the past, so you could do a search.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
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    lefty51's Avatar
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    May 2015
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    East of Royals country western MO
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    Re: New Build (Water Seepage)

    Hello Enlitn35,

    They are right on what they've told you.

    Our vinyl inground actually sits on the highest point of our property, yet we still get a lot of ground water under our pool. When the PB installed our pool 17 years ago, they installed drainage pipes underneath with a pipe coming out at the pump and filter to "pull" the excess water from underneath to avoid floating the liner.

    I plumbed that line into the suction line with a valve, so I could remove that water with my pool pump and either use that to top off pool level (it's very clean water and chemically good) or pump to waste. It's worked great when pool is "closed" for removing water from snow melt, etc.

    hope that helps, Si
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
    TF-100 with speedstir

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    Re: New Build (Water Seepage)

    Appreciate everyone's responses. Has anyone had any experience with Hydraulic concrete to stop the water seepege at joints? There is water seeping from where the slope meets the bottom concrete pad and wondering if sealing it off with that would work before the liner goes in or should I just let it ride as is?

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    Re: New Build (Water Seepage)

    You can try hydraulic concrete. That may stop the leaking. But it will not solve the problem. A gunite pool structure is designed to withstand outside water pressure. That's why they float. A liner pool is generally not designed to do that. Nor would you want yours to. The solution is not to keep the outside water out but to remove the outside water before it can affect the pool structure. Your walls are not designed for large amounts of groundwater behind them. They are designed to keep the liner in place and they rely on the ground behind them for structural support.

    The problem is not a small volume of water seeping under your walls. That should have minimal effect (unless for some reason there is a corrosion problem). The problem is you have high ground water with a liner pool. As a general rule with a liner pool you want the groundwater below the bottom of the pool so it does not displace the water into the pool and the pool water holds the liner against the sides of the pool.

    You solution is most likely french drains or a dry well or some combination of the two. You need someone familiar with your area who has done that work before to evaluate your situation.

    It appears the PB does not think this is serious or I suspect he would be recommending a solution.

    Liner pools with full depth concrete slabs and concrete or block walls act more lie gunite pools in this respect, but that is not what you have. Your the water pressure inside your walls is a structural element of the walls.
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    Re: New Build (Water Seepage)

    Having groundwater issues and a vinyl liner, I support the idea of installing drainage now rather than later.

    We did not recognize the problem until after our build and have had to do three separate drainage system fixes. Things are better but still not right. If we had known in advance, we could have done it right the first time.

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    Re: New Build (Water Seepage)

    He has installed a large sump pump outside my pool and the water is going to discharge behind my house. I was concerned because that is only has deep as my pool wall and the pipe is located next to the steps in my pool. I was worried about all the water I am seeing on the deep end. I'm hoping that sump pump does make an impact considering the amount of water we do get in my yard. That pipe is buried a few feet deep beside the wall at one end of the pool.

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    Re: New Build (Water Seepage)

    Let us know how the sump pump works before the liner is installed. Keep a careful eye out in case you need a secondary solution.

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