Although this is my first post I have been researching this for some time. This spring we had our new 24' round pool installed professionally and have been enjoying it almost every day. I have been spending anytime I can doing the landscaping around the pool (not shown in these pics as these were taken just after installation) and have since installed a field rock retaining wall along the lower portion of the pool and now I'm going to start with a pressure treated wood retaining wall around the upper part that will be installed after I remove the dirt and make a flat surface to put the wood against which would be from the grass line (in the second pic) straight down. The wood retaining wall portion will be covered by a new deck next year that will come off the existing deck (basically where those bushes are now) thus the reason for wood and not some more costly brick or stone because its going to be covered. Anyhow, now for my real question.....once the wood retaining wall is up I'm not sure whether to go the French drain route or just continue what grading I have already done away from the pool to a trench filled with rock just before the retaining wall (thinking about a 1' deep trench) that would be about 4' from the pool to collect the runoff. I'm really not sure about the French drain only because this would require a large amount of digging and further grading of the pool and drain tubing so the water drains properly away from the pool. As you can see the amount of ground between the house and the pool is only about 10' (which will soon be covered by decking)and the downspouts from the house are tied directly into the sewer so there is virtually no runoff from the house or yard above the pool. Has anyone tried this method of digging a trench filled with rock to collect runoff and if so does anyone have a suggestions, comments or pics? Thanks so much!