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Thread: New Pool Build - TX

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    New Pool Build - TX

    *Edit* The pool build is on! See latest posts.

    Hello all!

    My wife has been on me for a while to build a pool, and I've always relented. However recently I came around to the idea enough that I started researching and found this website (which is a great resource, thank you!). We've found two PBs, one of which we've met with and he's coming up with a design and bid. The other we are meeting next week. Here is my predicament:

    We are in a neighborhood on a half acre lot. When we build our house 4 years ago, we were in the county. Last year, we were annexed into the city against all of our wishes. They were able to legally do this because they provided city water, but no sewer...so we are all on septic systems (aerobic systems). So here is where my problem lies. The pool will be in the backyard, right on top of two waste sprinkler heads. Both of which would have to be relocated, as well as the pipe between the two because it leads to another sprinkler head on the side of the yard. In order to do any work to a septic system, the contractor must contact the state (TX). This would present a problem because of a few things:

    1) We have a couple of "technical" violations. One sprinkler slightly sprays onto our sidewalk (which wasn't built when the septic was originally put in). And our whole lot is on an irrigation system. Technically waste water cannot be sprayed onto ground that is irrigated.
    2) We added on to our house a few months ago, so now our house is bigger and therefore our septic system is "technically" undersized. A new plan design would probably require an additional sprinkler head.
    3) We don't have any more room on our lot for an other sprinkler head.

    So I'm afraid that we'd get rejected. The only other things I can think of is to request a sanitary easement from my rear neighbor. He recently purchased the land behind our house to build his own house. It will be set back from our house into the woods, and directly behind our house is just a pasture. If I could get him to give me a sanitary easement to spray onto his land that would solve our problems...but I don't know how he'd feel about that.

    Anyone ever ran into these kinds of problems? Am I just asking for trouble....should I just invest in a really nice lawn sprinkler for the kids to run through?

    Thanks for any advice!

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    Would an above ground pool help solve any of your......."technical"....issues? Welcome to the forum.
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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    I know that the answer is probably "no", but is there any chance that you could convert to an anaerobic system? I live in a neighborhood of mixed systems and my anaerobic takes up less yard since I depend on a leech field. One of my neighbors has almost no yard that doesn't get sprayed. His kids are forever getting sprayed and all their toys are always sprayed. I know it is supposed to be all clean, but ick.

    Pretty awful that the city can force the anex and then not provide sewer. I would think that would be illegal.
    ~18,000 gallon
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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    We are really wanting an IG gunite pool, so an AG pool wouldn't be an option.

    Quote Originally Posted by glitter&guns View Post
    I know that the answer is probably "no", but is there any chance that you could convert to an anaerobic system? I live in a neighborhood of mixed systems and my anaerobic takes up less yard since I depend on a leech field. One of my neighbors has almost no yard that doesn't get sprayed. His kids are forever getting sprayed and all their toys are always sprayed. I know it is supposed to be all clean, but ick.

    Pretty awful that the city can force the anex and then not provide sewer. I would think that would be illegal.
    Yeah, it has really upset the entire neighborhood because it was strictly a money grab from the city. Our taxes are going up $1800 a year, and we aren't getting any additional benefits. The county took better care of our roads than the city can. The only benefit is our water rates are slightly lower being city residents vs county. So that might come in handy when it comes time to fill up the pool, but otherwise it only saves us about $20-$30 per month. However, now I have to deal with city permits, inspections, etc. If I want someone to come replace an AC unit or something, I have to pay a permit fee. Its really aggravating. We technically can petition to be dis-annexed with a majority vote, but the city would retain the right to discontinue our water service. So then we'd have to see if the county would sell us water if they would go that route. Small town politics....

    Anyway back to my problem. No, the size of our lots and type of soil...aerobic systems are the only option for us. Further complicating things is when we were county, the county had their own sanitation guy (not sure the legal term for him) who designed and approved septic design plans. The city does not have such a person on staff, so they rely on the TCEQ (the state). The nearest TCEQ facility is 1 and half hours away, and I've heard people in our town have had to wait SIX MONTHS for a design to be approved and issued by them. Sigh.

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    MiaOKC's Avatar
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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    I have absolutely no experience with septic systems (except one house we looked at buying a few years ago had one, but since we didn't end up buying it, that info is worth almost nothing) but do have some experience with residential real estate ... and one of my first thoughts is not definitely not helpful to the immediate problem of permitting the pool, but it was the very first thing that came to mind so I'll throw it out there. Do you think any of the issues that may prevent you from building a pool might preclude you from an easy sale of your home sometime down the line? Especially if your pool permit is denied and thus triggers the need for you to disclose the issues to potential future buyers? If so, it might be most expedient to just bite the bullet and remedy any issues now, plus get the enjoyment of having the pool while you live there, rather than end up dealing with the problem down the road when you are trying to move on. And if at all possible, remedy within your own lot (perhaps there are septic system companies that could figure something out?), rather than trying to get an easement from the neighbor. Even if he might be fine with it now, when he goes to sell his property sometime in the future, it may be a deterrent to potential buyers of his.

    I know that's not at all what you would want to hear, but I am always leery of dealing with city inspectors, and once they know, they can't un-know the info. Or maybe they would approve your permit and the worrying would have been for naught! Just some food for thought. Good luck and I hope you get the pool you and your wife have been dreaming about!
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by MiaOKC View Post
    I have absolutely no experience with septic systems (except one house we looked at buying a few years ago had one, but since we didn't end up buying it, that info is worth almost nothing) but do have some experience with residential real estate ... and one of my first thoughts is not definitely not helpful to the immediate problem of permitting the pool, but it was the very first thing that came to mind so I'll throw it out there. Do you think any of the issues that may prevent you from building a pool might preclude you from an easy sale of your home sometime down the line? Especially if your pool permit is denied and thus triggers the need for you to disclose the issues to potential future buyers? If so, it might be most expedient to just bite the bullet and remedy any issues now, plus get the enjoyment of having the pool while you live there, rather than end up dealing with the problem down the road when you are trying to move on. And if at all possible, remedy within your own lot (perhaps there are septic system companies that could figure something out?), rather than trying to get an easement from the neighbor. Even if he might be fine with it now, when he goes to sell his property sometime in the future, it may be a deterrent to potential buyers of his.

    I know that's not at all what you would want to hear, but I am always leery of dealing with city inspectors, and once they know, they can't un-know the info. Or maybe they would approve your permit and the worrying would have been for naught! Just some food for thought. Good luck and I hope you get the pool you and your wife have been dreaming about!
    Thanks for the thoughts. Yeah I'm like you, I didn't like the idea of something like that causing a problem down the line with selling the house.

    I just got off the phone with a local attorney (who is also a friend) and he suggested without me even bringing it up, that I could probably get an easement from my neighbor. This neighbor has over 20 acres, and the area that we would spray on is currently just vacant pasture of which he has no future plans for. This apparently is done quite a bit in our county, as we have a lake in our county where there are several "McMansions" that exceed the requirement for septic systems so they either have to purchase a vacant lot next to them to run the septic on, or get an easement from a neighbor.

    I'm starting to think this will be our only course of action. Perhaps if he doesn't want an easement on his land, maybe he would be open to selling me a small tract of land so he doesn't have to worry about any future issues. With regards to resolving it soley on our lot, speaking with the septic expert yesterday, she said that she's fairly confident that if we had to relocate the two (possibly three) sprinkler heads in the back yard we would not have enough square footage left on our own property to adequately expel the waste water to meet code. I'm meeting another septic installer today to get his opinion. We'll see....so much for swimming this year!

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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    Well the whole thing just stinks. We are in the county but very close to the city line and exceptionally close to an elementary school that is also located in the county. Occasionally I hear talk about the city annexing the school, and if they do we would go along. I suppose that we might be able to come off of co-op electricity but I can't think of any other good that would come of it.

    So I guess the question becomes: how much do you like your house? If you could find a house with a pool already in place, you would probably come out financially ahead of the game, even if you needed to do some upgrading to the pool. And the headaches seem much smaller if you could just scoot back over that city limits line for a build (if you need to go that route).
    ~18,000 gallon
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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by glitter&guns View Post
    Well the whole thing just stinks. We are in the county but very close to the city line and exceptionally close to an elementary school that is also located in the county. Occasionally I hear talk about the city annexing the school, and if they do we would go along. I suppose that we might be able to come off of co-op electricity but I can't think of any other good that would come of it.

    So I guess the question becomes: how much do you like your house? If you could find a house with a pool already in place, you would probably come out financially ahead of the game, even if you needed to do some upgrading to the pool. And the headaches seem much smaller if you could just scoot back over that city limits line for a build (if you need to go that route).
    Well we really like our house, which is why we recently added on to it.

    I actually met with a different septic installer today and he thinks we might be able to fit everything on our own lot. He said, "it'll be tight, we'll use every square foot of your front yard" but he did say he thought it could be done. He gave me the name of his engineer and so we'll see if he says it can go. If he says we can fit it and draw us up a design then we'll finally make some headway. I"ll just have to part with $2,500 before the PB ever steps foot on our land....

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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    Well, looks like the answer to my question is yes. It is killing the pool dream!

    Engineer came and measured, we do not have enough room on our lot to put all of the sprinkler heads on our lot. So our options are buying land behind us or beside us. The least expensive option (and easiest all around) would be to purchase about a quarter acre from my rear neighbor and move our septic sprinklers there. Well, he politely declined that today. And I've already ruled out purchasing the vacant lots on either side of us. The land itself would be at least $10k, if we are lucky. Then probably another $2-3k for moving the septic lines, dealing with city permit issues, etc. I would then have another half acre of watered land to maintain, that I cannot build a shop on or anything (HOA rules). Then in the end, I feel like it would hinder our ability to sell. No one would want to buy a house that is permanently attached to another half acre lot that is non-buildable and non-sellable.

    So now, it looks like we'll just have to drive the 20 or so miles to the country club pool. Oh well, we could have a lot worse problems in life than not getting to build a pool!

    Thanks to all for the advice and what a great resource we have here. Now what to do with my knowledge of CYA and PH levels?

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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    I feel for you. HOA's = the devil IMO. (you pulled at my heart strings when you mentioned the inability to build a shop...this is an issue that kept me from moving to East Texas once).
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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    Sorry to hear all of that! If you do find a solution, keep everyone hear updated.

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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    Sorry it doesn't sound like it will work out. Is it possible to get an above-ground pool or is there the same issue with the sprinkler heads and square footage?
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    Thank you all for the condolences!

    Right well we don't technically have a HOA, but a set of Covenants Conditions and Restrictions for our neighborhood that say that any detatched structure (shed, storage building, etc.) has to be to the rear of the property and match the construction of the primary home. It forbids a storage building to be solely built on a piece of property. So its like a HOA with a little less teeth because the entire neighborhood would have to sue me. But I don't want to do that anyways. I probably wouldn't like just a metal storage building on a lot by itself in our neighborhood either.

    No unfortunately and inground or above ground have the same restrictions. Any pool has to be 25 feet away from the spray of the nearest septic sprinkler.

    Yes I will keep you all updated. If the neighbor behind us happens to grant us a sanitary easement, then that will be our ticket. Otherwise the pool for this house is dead. We might wind up looking to build and move within the next 3-5 years if that is the case.

    Thanks again I'll keep this TFP updated if anything changes.

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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    So sorry to hear you may have to give up your dream pool.... That sux...
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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    Wow. Reading this was an eye opener for me. I had no idea of a difference in septic system types. I live in ignorant bliss on 26acres with 2 acre pond and well and septic. I'm not that far from "the city." Sounds like that annex is a bit of a nightmare.

    I feel for your dilemma......but I guess it makes me grateful to have the room to move such things.
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    Tearing down the red tape. Pool Project = Back On

    Some of you might have seen my previous thread about septic issues killing the pool dream, here http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...reams-Any-tips.

    Topics merged. Please keep everything about one project or question together in one place. Thanks JasonLion

    The short version: we're on a half acre with aerobic septic system with some of the sprinkler heads in the back yard. We don't have enough room on the rest of our lot to relocate the heads, and so we were running out of options. Some of the options we did explore: obtaining a sanitary easement from our rear neighbor, purchasing a small tract of land from our rear neighbor, drip irrigation instead of sprinkler heads, and even killing the entire project and just building a new house in a few years with enough land for a pool.

    Taking all of that into much thought, what we've decided to do is to purchase a vacant lot next door to run our septic sprinkler heads on. They are desperate to get rid of it, and we've agreed on a price much less than what they paid for it and market value. Our reasoning for this is multi-faceted, but its not uncommon in our area for this to happen. It's a smaller lot than our own and will provide me some extra space to park my trailer, dump my lawn clippings and tree limbs etc. Plus it's a good excuse for a bigger lawn mower!

    So, my question to you all is...what other things should I take into consideration before signing on the dotted line for this small piece of land? Here are some of the things I've thought about:

    1) I have to resolve the 10ft utility easement in our backyard. There are currently no utilities underground, and my rear neighbor said he has no plans at all and is willing to sign off on anything to release it.
    2) Contact the city to make sure if they have any requirements or restrictions that could derail anything?

    I know there are probably other things I need to consider. A pool builder has already been out on our land and said we have enough room for it, and he didn't raise any red flags. Just thought I'd ask if there is anything else I should be considering before I go and buy a piece of land.

    Thanks all, great resource here!

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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    I apologize to the mods for making a new topic, I saw the banner across the top regarding making a new topic for new questions, but now I realized that was referencing someone ELSE's topic. Makes sense!

    Anyway, I've contacted a few other professionals and I don't know of any other factors to consider. So it looks like we're a go ahead. We should be closing on this lot within a couple of weeks, and then getting septic moved out there shortly after that, then we'll have the green light for a pool builder. We have 4 PB's working on bids for us.

    Once construction begins I guess I'll update this thread?

    Thanks all for the tips so far and the other information I've gleaned from this website thus far.

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    Re: Red Tape Going to kill my pool dreams? Any tips?

    Glad to see you've found a solution! I would continue to update this thread when you get to your build, and you can always edit your post to reflect a new subject line.
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: New Pool Build - TX (formerly Red Tape pool dream problem)

    Just wanted to give an update. Nothing really exciting yet for anyone on here, but just thought I'd post some progress updates for anyone who might experience a similar problem. So far we've done the following:

    1) Purchased an a vacant home lot across the street from our house
    2) Got a new engineered septic drawing for state approval
    3) Septic contractor is coming next week to bore underneath the road to move the septic sprinklers on to new lot
    4) Obtained an easement release from our neighbors.
    5) Obtained a sanitary easement from "ourselves" to "ourselves" with the new lot for the septic.
    6) Had to jump through some more hoops because the bank started to get nervous about our lots not being contiguous.
    7) Had the house appraised (doing a HEL)
    8) Met with pool builders, got some designs, with the last one coming the end of this week.

    So, right now, all is a green light. We're crossing our fingers that this last design will be exactly what we want (the first draft was great already) and obviously hoping the price tag doesn't cause me to have a stroke.

    Thanks for the advice so far. I'll be sure and post back once we break ground, which hopefully isn't too far off!

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    Re: New Pool Build - TX (formerly Red Tape pool dream problem)

    Now that's outside of the box thinking! Good job
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