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Thread: Don't have a swimming pool, but have impact problems

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    Don't have a swimming pool, but have impact problems

    Hello TPF friends,
    I am new here and not familiar with the swimming pool technology. Would like to get your expert knowledge in solving my backyard water problem that seems to be coming from a neighbor's swimming pool.

    I have been living in my current house for 19 years without any backyard water or sump pump water problems. Last year we got a new neighbor in the house right behind my backyard. He installed an in ground pool in his small backyard. Since then my backyard is getting flooded. After this brutal winter, we were able to investigate the problem. We also found that the neighbor had a big PVC pipe discharging some of his backyard and sump pump/gutter water into my backyard. After talking to him, he sealed off that pipe. But that hasn't solved the water problem.

    Somehow the in ground pool has re-pitched the underground water stream to my backyard. I think that his backyard is so small, all the underground water is overflowing to my backyard. I don't see the water source, but I see puddles of water all over my backyard. The worst part is that my sump pump is running every "6 seconds" as compared to running once every week before the swimming pool installation.

    Originally I thought we have a piece of Conservation Easement property and water is coming from that side. So we called our township for an inspection. Upon inspection, the township is asking the neighbor to install a pump system and fix the water drainage issue. Nothing has happened so far. I'm still waiting patiently to see what the neighbor does.

    I would like to learn more about this problem and fix. What should I expect the neighbor to do in order to get rid of the water problem completely? How do I make sure that the pool was installed properly with compliance ? How about the township permit? Shouldn't they do some water table study before handing out a pool permit?
    What are my rights here? I am already getting some mold issues in my basement. Also I have so much sump pump water now, I have to install an under ground PVC pipe to take my sump pump water to the street at $1400 expense.

    Appreciate your insight here.
    Thanks.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Don't have a swimming pool, but have impact problems

    Sounds like a very unfortunate situation that could have been avoided by proper pool installation with consideration for drainage. I obviously have no information on the grading or drainage of the area or how that was impacted by the pool.

    The contractor who installed the pool would have had to pay for permits to install the pool. Your city/township should have records on file for that. You could find out who that contractor was and look into their history and licensing.

    I'm not sure how the installation of a pool would "repitch the underground water stream" unless they hit groundwater during the excavation for the pool. Surface drainage could certainly be affected if the grading was changed to accommodate the pool.

    In an extreme case, the pool water itself could be leaking into the ground and perhaps the owner doesn't know it because they have an autofill and also don't pay attention to their water bill being astronomical. Not as likely, but some people don't pay attention or care enough to notice the obvious.

    I'm not sure what else you can do other than to keep asking questions of them and the local authorities to get to the bottom of it.
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    Re: Don't have a swimming pool, but have impact problems

    JV, Yes indeed it's an unfortunate situation.
    When we talked to the neighbor, he mentioned that the pool installer did hit water while digging up the hole. Per his memory, the pool builder put gravel on the water and poured concrete on it. The neighbor didn't talk about any surface drainage. Neither did I ask him about it.
    He also gave me the name of the pool builder. But what would I get from the pool builder? He would obviously defend his own work. Now that the township is involved, my neighbor got a new contractor. The township inspector gave me his new contractor's name who is supposed to fix the problem.

    My concern is that since the township gave them the pool permit, they should check the pool foundation, grading, underground stream issues and surface drainage etc. for full compliance. Something went wrong and the township knows it. That's why the township is working with him.

    How do I get an independent report of the pool installation details in order to find the root cause of the problem?


    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    Sounds like a very unfortunate situation that could have been avoided by proper pool installation with consideration for drainage. I obviously have no information on the grading or drainage of the area or how that was impacted by the pool.

    The contractor who installed the pool would have had to pay for permits to install the pool. Your city/township should have records on file for that. You could find out who that contractor was and look into their history and licensing.

    I'm not sure how the installation of a pool would "repitch the underground water stream" unless they hit groundwater during the excavation for the pool. Surface drainage could certainly be affected if the grading was changed to accommodate the pool.

    In an extreme case, the pool water itself could be leaking into the ground and perhaps the owner doesn't know it because they have an autofill and also don't pay attention to their water bill being astronomical. Not as likely, but some people don't pay attention or care enough to notice the obvious.

    I'm not sure what else you can do other than to keep asking questions of them and the local authorities to get to the bottom of it.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Don't have a swimming pool, but have impact problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam2015 View Post
    My concern is that since the township gave them the pool permit, they should check the pool foundation, grading, underground stream issues and surface drainage etc. for full compliance. Something went wrong and the township knows it. That's why the township is working with him.

    How do I get an independent report of the pool installation details in order to find the root cause of the problem?
    No building department ever pays attention to things like ground water and probably only look passingly at drainage issues. The town would have a copy of the permit and inspections, but if it is anything like any building department I have ever dealt with they will not have any "reports" to review. There are multiple inspection points during a construction project they must pass and they (the building department) really do not document it. An inspector looks at the issue being inspected today and if in his professional judgement feels it is OK they pass that inspection and move forward.

    If it is not fixed to your satisfaction you may have to hire your own Hydrologic engineer to determine what the issue is and propose specific solutions.
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