Base for AGP


Jul 6, 2021
San Rafael, CA
Hello everyone,

I just bought a Costco Bestway oval pool. It is to be installed as a test to see if we really want a pool in our too small backyard. The site slopes about 3 inches side to side and because it is a one or two year installation I don't want to dig to level a spot. Soil is rock hard, rocky clay. I plan to build a wood frame and level with fill material and cover that with 3/4" insulation board. So I am wondering:
1) Since this is temporary do I really need to remove the dead grass (this is California and we haven't watered all year). Is the only issue that it will stink for a little while when I remove the pool?
2) What to use as fill? I initially thought about pea gravel but then I would need to remove and dispose of that when I remove the pool. I could use sand but it costs more and would also need to be disposed of. I also thought about clean topsoil; I could just till that in when the pool is removed.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Your install plan is a little unconventional for us as we typically encourage leveling the soil. But if you move-forward with your plan to frame a base, I would suspect a good limestone-type base that can press & lock together when compacted in that frame might be best. Pea gravel isn't stable, and dirt might just compact further once damp or in some cases wash away if/when you get those rare rains. You'll definitely want the insulation boards over the base more for puncture protection that the grass. Curious ot know if ti will work. Let us know.


Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
P.S. - the grass will stink as it decomposes under the pool. You will be looking around for the dead body as you try to enjoy your pool😷

Also 3” isn’t that terrible to dig & doesn’t compare to the cost of gravel & wood. Better to have a firm virgin base to support all that water weight.
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