Ok, so I bought this house last year that had owners who did not take care of anything. This included not closing the pool correctly - winterizing. It is a 16x32 average depth of 5 feet (rectangular). I had to replace the pump enclosure, some parts of the swg, pump motor and some pipes near the pump station. A solar heater pipe on the roof was broken also; I have a piece coming in the mail to replace that - easy fix.
In addition to the above stated problems, our house is built on a slope (slopes towards house). We had various water issues as a result, so we placed drainage around the entire property line, which took care of 80% of our water issues in the backyard. Up until last night, I thought some of the water collection on the far side of the house near the pool equipment was a result of bad drainage and the property grading. However, I ran the waterfalls all day on high yesterday and found a huge area of wet soil.
I am attaching pictures for clarification. I have drawn an outline to show where the wetness is. While we were putting in the drainage we found some underground pvc pipes. These pipes were definitely not installed at the required depth putting them at risk for freezing and damage if the pool was not closed properly. No we did not damage the pipe, we hand dug this section of drainage to insure no issues with breaking a pipe while digging.
I really think the 'problem pipe' is the waterfall line. I am going to shut the water off to the waterfall lines and run the pump for the next few days monitoring the dampness of the soil. If the dampness decreases and goes away, we know we have isolated the problem. If not I will need help isolating the problem.
What worries me is that the entire section of the hill is soaked. Even up at the top of the lil hill going from the pool to the filter. I have outlined in the pictures were the dampness is. These pictures were taken the next day, so it has had some chance to dry up. I guess one good thing is the drainage is there to take the water away from the house. By judging the water level, I do not appear to be losing a drastic amount of water.
My question is this: how can i better isolate the problem? Or do i just have to start digging where it's wet? Is there a better way to indicate where the leak underground may be (ie where it is most damp, the highest point, etc)? I do not have any prior experience finding leaks underground. And I do not want to call someone in to do a pressure test if I can properly isolate and fix the problem myself. The soil is clay so it's a ***** to dig up, but once I find the issue I will just replace the required piping.
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!