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Thread: pool floods after rain

  1. #1
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    pool floods after rain

    Our pool was finished around the 3rd week in August. After the pool was finished, the builder had the dirt man bring in 14 yards of top soil and I put sod down over it. I have not done any other landscaping to the yard. My yard has not flooded until this month. Earlier this month we had about 9.5" of rain over a 3 day period. My pool and yard flooded on the 1st day of all this rain. It has fast and heavy. The rest of the time, it was more like slow steady rain.

    On Wednesday this week, we had 2.5" of rain in one afternoon. It started at about 12 pm and when I arrived home at 5 pm my yard and pool had already flooded after only 2.5" of rain. I've kept my water level half way up the tiles. We got a total of 7" in an 18 hour time frame. Needless to say, my pool is green again.

    I'm not sure the grading on my pool is right. My backyard is mostly clay, and we put a lot of top soil on top to encourage drainage. Should I ask the builder to look at the grading again? Or do you think I'm on my own? (my husband thinks I'm crazy for trying to ask the builder about this.)

    If I'm on my own, can someone suggest ideas on what to do? Every time this happens, I wind up with tons of fresh water in the pool, no salt, no cholorine (even though there was 6 ppm on Friday afternoon and all other parameters were with in limits), no stablizer, low CH and yucky water.

    Thanks for all your help.
    13,000 gallon freeform gunite pool with aqua blue quartz finish completed 8/23/09, 1.5 hp two speed Super II pump, 450 cartridge filter, 250 btu heater, 6' spillover spa, 3/4 hp booster pump for Hayward Viio Cleaner, Goldline P4 controller with salt system 20k cell

  2. #2
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    Can you post some pictures? That might help get an idea of what things look like and what might need to be done.
    Pool builders generally are not landscape guys that keep a lot of this kind of thing in mind. Obviously, they should get the proper grade shot for the pool install, but the surrounding landscape is not something I would think they would generally look at unless it was blatently obvious that massive flooding would occur. One of the things a lot of folks forget when building a pool is that a good landscape architect can be a world of help before the build. I'm sure this is something that can be fixed, though.

    Post some pictures. I would also encourage you to find a landscaper that works with an engineer or architect. Most of the time, a quick consult is free and well worth the time to get an idea of what it will take to fix the problem.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  3. #3
    Senior Member polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    Quote Originally Posted by tmtklt
    I'm not sure the grading on my pool is right. My backyard is mostly clay, and we put a lot of top soil on top to encourage drainage. Should I ask the builder to look at the grading again? Or do you think I'm on my own? (my husband thinks I'm crazy for trying to ask the builder about this.)
    Yes, as bk406 said, pictures might be helpful here.

    I was thinking that just placing add'l top soil might not be sufficient for serious drainage... you may need to install some type of drain pipe with overflow out to a side yard or lower area. In my pool area landscape, there are 5 plastic catch basins distributed at various locations around the pool and yard, and a trench drain ("Deck-O-Drain") laid in the poured patio deck separating the pool from the house. The basins, deck-o-drain and pool overflow are connected via underground flex-pipe, tied in with a few down-spouts and then routed around both sides of the house to front yard basins, which are lower in elevation by a foot or so. When there is a lot of rain, water pushes out of the basins to irrigate front yard (... and sidewalk, where it spills into the gutter/city storm drains. )
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    I think the reason your pool is over flowing is because of the massive amts of rain in a short period. We had alot of rain this past week and I know that our pool overflowed onto the pavers but I generally use this as a time to backwash my sand filter as the water is free. You can install an overflow pipe if you want to prevent the overflow onto the surrounding deck I would also make sure you have enough chlorine to prevent the pool from turning green
    5,775 gal, IG free form, Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish, 2 swim out benches, Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues, StaRite Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter replaced with Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15, Polaris 360, Pentair 300w Light upgraded to Pentair IntelliBrite (OMG what a huge difference) , Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers, solar cover, TF-100 test kit, Pentair Deck Jet, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer (Makes testing a breeze), Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Margarita Concoction Machine,
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  5. #5
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    I'm not sure the problem is so much the pool overflowing, but run-off from the yard pouring into the pool as well. At least thats how i understand the OP. If thats the case, changes to the yard most likely need to be made.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    Quote Originally Posted by tmtklt
    Our pool was finished around the 3rd week in August. After the pool was finished, the builder had the dirt man bring in 14 yards of top soil and I put sod down over it. I have not done any other landscaping to the yard. My yard has not flooded until this month. Earlier this month we had about 9.5" of rain over a 3 day period. My pool and yard flooded on the 1st day of all this rain. It has fast and heavy. The rest of the time, it was more like slow steady rain.

    On Wednesday this week, we had 2.5" of rain in one afternoon. It started at about 12 pm and when I arrived home at 5 pm my yard and pool had already flooded after only 2.5" of rain. I've kept my water level half way up the tiles. We got a total of 7" in an 18 hour time frame. Needless to say, my pool is green again.

    I'm not sure the grading on my pool is right. My backyard is mostly clay, and we put a lot of top soil on top to encourage drainage. Should I ask the builder to look at the grading again? Or do you think I'm on my own? (my husband thinks I'm crazy for trying to ask the builder about this.)

    If I'm on my own, can someone suggest ideas on what to do? Every time this happens, I wind up with tons of fresh water in the pool, no salt, no cholorine (even though there was 6 ppm on Friday afternoon and all other parameters were with in limits), no stablizer, low CH and yucky water.

    Thanks for all your help.
    I wuld think that there was quite a bit of opportunity for the pool to flood between August and now, but we did have some very heavy down pours and that will make any pool over flow. I know that last week I had almost 10 inches added to my pool because of the heavy rain
    5,775 gal, IG free form, Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish, 2 swim out benches, Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues, StaRite Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter replaced with Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15, Polaris 360, Pentair 300w Light upgraded to Pentair IntelliBrite (OMG what a huge difference) , Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers, solar cover, TF-100 test kit, Pentair Deck Jet, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer (Makes testing a breeze), Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Margarita Concoction Machine,
    Pics of our Spool ( Social Pool) being built Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

  7. #7
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    Perhaps clarification from the OP is needed here. Is it the run off from the yard thats going into the pool thats the biggest issue, or is it the pool over flowing into the yard thats the problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmtklt
    my yard and pool had already flooded after only 2.5" of rain. I've kept my water level half way up the tiles. We got a total of 7" in an 18 hour time frame. Needless to say, my pool is green again.

    .
    This would indicate the issue is the water from the yard is flowing into the pool, not just that the pool is overflowing from excessive rain.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  8. #8
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    If it is run off from the yard, you can temporarily use sandbags to divert the flow; quick and dirty temporary solution. I had to do the whole side of house and end of pool a few years ago, double and triple stacked (garage and pool flooding and some water making into the office). I've left some in place and covered with Coolaroo or shade fabric from HD, which is exactly like the Coolaroo, to look nicer and to protect the bags from UV deterioration. BTW... I used 3.5 tons of sand and did it myself, and I'm a granny. You can get the poly bags, online, for great prices. BTW... you don't tie the bags, rather fold the ends and that makes the job much faster. The cheapest sand is, I forget what it is called, for landscape, purchased in bulk. But I did start out with a pallet of sand, in bags, from Home Depot. Don't go to the garden section, rather go to contractor's checkout and they will load it for you. If you get enough they will partially unload or load a pallet for you and put whole pallet it in the bed of a truck. I prefer the bulk landscaping sand vs play sand, as it has enough silt in it for the bags to pack down solidly, almost as good as concrete, but of course, removable. Cars and truck have, accidentally, run over some of the bags, with my preferred sand, and don't move around much as long as the bags are not deteriorated from UV.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  9. #9
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    You have received some VERY good advice here

    I'm hoping you will be able to post pics and answer whether or not soil is being washed into the pool from the rains.

    The folks here are always ready and willing to help you with your pool But, sometimes, we need a little more info to get you the best answer to your particular issue
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  10. #10
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    I'd like to see pics too. Having said that, I'm not too far from you and if you'd like, and we could work out a schedule I could come by and bring my laser level to give you an idea of what is going on. PM me if you'd like.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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  11. #11
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    You're a good person Bama!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  12. #12
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    Every time I have tried to upload a photo, I'm asked for a user ID and password. Then my post is deleted. I've made some photos for yall to look at. They are from the pool build. I'm not sure how helpful they will be and I can take some more pictures later. Water flows from the east (neighbor's yard) to the west to a retaining pond. Most of the accumulation seems to be from the east side. I dont think there is enough slope for it to flow until its ankle deep. Then it starts to flow across the pool. I've been reading about french drains and think this might help a good bit. However, I'm not sure how to end them and not sure if thats suitable for my situation. There's a lot of clay. Does the end need to be above ground? If so, then I'm not sure that will work because there's not much slope.

    The water table is probably very high right now. 2.5" of rain is very typical on a daily basis in the summer time. But now that its cold the grass is dormant. And I'm not sure how much of that top soil is left.

    http://s929.photobucket.com/albums/ad138/tmtklt/
    13,000 gallon freeform gunite pool with aqua blue quartz finish completed 8/23/09, 1.5 hp two speed Super II pump, 450 cartridge filter, 250 btu heater, 6' spillover spa, 3/4 hp booster pump for Hayward Viio Cleaner, Goldline P4 controller with salt system 20k cell

  13. #13
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    Just to clear up any confusion...water comes from the yard from the east (which is uphill from me) and then into the pool. The dirt man had survey equipment and used that to "grade" my yard before we put sod down.

    On the west side of our property there is a retaining pond that the water from my yard eventually flows towards. I think french drains would be the answer but I need more information (any tips, tricks, and little known secrets) about them before I start doing something like that. I would imagine they would have to exend on the east side of our back yard about 65 feet and then about 100 feet to the west.
    13,000 gallon freeform gunite pool with aqua blue quartz finish completed 8/23/09, 1.5 hp two speed Super II pump, 450 cartridge filter, 250 btu heater, 6' spillover spa, 3/4 hp booster pump for Hayward Viio Cleaner, Goldline P4 controller with salt system 20k cell

  14. #14
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    Some of the basics on 'curtain' or 'French' drains is given here.

    Another thing I was thinking about when I first saw your thread is to put up a low wall, right next to the deck, to keep the yard water off the deck and out of the pool.

    I'm happy to discuss either of these approaches with you
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  15. #15
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    In the photos that I posted with the link...the first picture or drawing shows an area in the upper right corner of that has a grassy area in betwen our porch, house, and the fence and it also shows a swing (that's not there). That space fills up with a lot of water. Wednesday night the porch had water coming from this corner because there was so much rain. So, I'm not sure how a wall is going to work around the pool deck on that side.
    13,000 gallon freeform gunite pool with aqua blue quartz finish completed 8/23/09, 1.5 hp two speed Super II pump, 450 cartridge filter, 250 btu heater, 6' spillover spa, 3/4 hp booster pump for Hayward Viio Cleaner, Goldline P4 controller with salt system 20k cell

  16. #16
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    Here are some more pics...

    http://s929.photobucket.com/albums/ad138/tmtklt/

    thanks for the info about the french drains. Is it possible to have the entire system buried underground without ill effects? I would like to direct water toward the retaining pond as this is the natural flow of water anyway.

    thanks for all the help.
    13,000 gallon freeform gunite pool with aqua blue quartz finish completed 8/23/09, 1.5 hp two speed Super II pump, 450 cartridge filter, 250 btu heater, 6' spillover spa, 3/4 hp booster pump for Hayward Viio Cleaner, Goldline P4 controller with salt system 20k cell

  17. #17
    Senior Member polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    Don't "french drains" consist of a pipe with holes down one side for placement next to foundations and behind footings and retaining walls?

    The overall lack of drains in your yard, along with clay sub-soil and a history of flooding, should inform your actions. Ted will correct me if I'm off on this but I think you need to install a drainage system -- trench pipe extending from frequently flooded (low) areas with catch basins to a lower elevation where this water can be disbursed. The basins can be covered and flush with the landscape, so they'll be almost invisible. The cost for a little project like this, even if contracted out, should be less than or equal to an afternoon of regrading. Just my 2½¢

    Quote Originally Posted by tmtklt
    Is it possible to have the entire system buried underground without ill effects?
    Sure. The whole idea is to circumvent the flooding that is happening when it rains; an underground system will collect the water and move it away rather than letting it wash into your pool or somewhere else undesirable.


    EDIT 1-25-2010 6:20 pm PST

    Keep in mind if you use a french drain with no outlet at a lower elevation, the water may just pool on top of the clay, defeating its purpose.

    Here are a couple of links I found describing various approaches:

    http://www.easydigging.com/Drainage/ins ... drain.html
    http://www.easydigging.com/Drainage/Gar ... Guide.html

    END-EDIT
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Some of the basics on 'curtain' or 'French' drains is given here.
    .

    Another thing I was thinking about when I first saw your thread is to put up a low wall, right next to the deck, to keep the yard water off the deck and out of the pool.

    I'm happy to discuss either of these approaches with you

    I had our footer raised for our pool cage for fear that water might flow into the pool. I think that this may be your best bet.
    The wall is great for seating. Look at out pool build in the signature to see waht I am talking about. Hope this helps
    5,775 gal, IG free form, Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish, 2 swim out benches, Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues, StaRite Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter replaced with Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15, Polaris 360, Pentair 300w Light upgraded to Pentair IntelliBrite (OMG what a huge difference) , Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers, solar cover, TF-100 test kit, Pentair Deck Jet, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer (Makes testing a breeze), Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Margarita Concoction Machine,
    Pics of our Spool ( Social Pool) being built Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

  19. #19
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    I kinda like that idea of a low wall for dual use - keep water away from our pool + additional seating. do you have some pics of how something like that could work. I happen to have some extra (lots) of bricks that match our house that may be useful for facing or for accent. Maybe 1/3 or 1/2 a pallet from when the kid next door backed his mom's 4 runner into our dining room! (Yikes!) Or I may be able to get some flagstone that matches the coping. I could do something like that in addition to french drains.
    13,000 gallon freeform gunite pool with aqua blue quartz finish completed 8/23/09, 1.5 hp two speed Super II pump, 450 cartridge filter, 250 btu heater, 6' spillover spa, 3/4 hp booster pump for Hayward Viio Cleaner, Goldline P4 controller with salt system 20k cell

  20. #20
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    Re: pool floods after rain

    Be careful with walls for water redistibution. They can make the problem exceedingly worse. Water diverted in this way can lead to terrible trenching, diversion of the water to places you dont want it to go, and a bigger mess, potentially, than you have now. French drains only alleviate problems of standing water, not massive run off. Like polyvue said, you need to look into a drainage sytem using drywells and basin, much like street drains that use grates and drywells to handle the run off. As I said in an earlier post, please consider having a professional at least look at this before you spend a lot of money and time on a solution that may make things worse. I had a severe water issue with my property before i even put the pool in. With some planning up front with an engineer, and landscaper working with the pool builder, we came up with a great design. My yard was a LOT more difficult than what your looks like from the pictures you posted. It looks to me like you can solve the issue after the fact, but 1 hour with a professional can really be helpful.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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