I need help! I am in and the water is way over my head...so to say....
The basic configuration of the pool is in my sig. It is approximately 7 years old. I determined I had a pool system leak when my water bill showed consecutive months of over 200,000 gallons used per month. I had noticed a sunken, soaked area in the lawn but because we had a lot of rain here in northern California this winter and spring I assumed the sunken area was caused by all the rainwater pooling in an imperceptibly low area of the lawn. The soil here is thick clay and I figured it just wasn't draining fast enough to keep up with all water we got. Anyway, when I got the bill, I finally put 2 and 2 together and shut off the pool's automatic filler. Within a few days, I had lost a very significant amount of water from the pool.
I then did the bucket test described in Pool School and realized that I had one or more leaks in the underground plumbing (PVC) that runs between the pump/filter and the pool/spa because I didn't lose any water with the pump off and I lost a lot of water when it was running. There are no noticeable leaks above ground.
After I had determined the problem was in the underground plumbing, I dug a few holes along the side of some of the plumbing running from the pump/filter to the pool. The soil (or should I say clay) was saturated with water just a couple of inches below the surface. After letting them dry out with the pump off for a few days, I turned the pump on and observed what happened. A short time after starting the pump, the holes began to slowly fill with water and continued to fill after the pump was shut off.
The first hole is 3 or 4 feet from where the pipes go under the concrete of the equipment pad. The hole abuts the concrete. My second hole is about 10 feet down the line. As I mentioned above, the holes started filling with water within 30 minutes of starting the pump. I couldn't tell which one filled faster, so I can't even make a judgement about which is closer to the leak(s) unless the leak is exactly between them...but I don't think it is because of the sunken area of my lawn another 15 feet down the line from the second hole I dug. I fear I have a LOT of water underground but don't know what to do about it other than digging up the 30 feet of space that runs between the concrete of the equipment pad and the concrete that surrounds the pool - which isn't really doable for me. Help!