Concern about excavated area around Ultraframe


Well-known member
May 4, 2020
New Jersey
I am concerned about my new Intex 12' x 24' x 52" rectangular Ultraframe that has been filled two days and sits immediately downhill from an 18 inch slope that was dug out on one side to level the pool. The contractor was only responsible for getting the ground leveled with a bobcat. I had to set up the pool myself and chose the spot for the pool with no input from the contractor as they don't work with Intex pools due to liability issues. I still have all of the fill dirt/sod from the leveling (will be spreading it out around the vicinity of the pool this week just to get rid of the huge dirt piles left over. I have A LOT of excess dirt). Because I had a gradual sloped yard going away from the hose, the contractor ended up having to dig straight down 18 inches where one side of the pool now sits. Contractor didn't give advice one way or another regarding a retaining wall.

So there is currently a 4 foot void/distance that sits between the one long side of the pool and the 18 inch tall slope (looks like an 18 inch high dirt retaining wall/ made out of native compacted sandy soil.) I also have the filter/pump set up in that 4 foot void, sitting on 4' thick cinder blocks. I can't grade out the 18" slope any lower because it is only a few feet away almost up against the back of my house where the A/C and crawlspace entrance both sit.

I can replant grass on the top of the dirt retaining wall/slope plus add gravel in that void near the pool. Does it sound necessary to add an actual retaining wall? it would be max height of 18", length 20 feet with the slope steadily getting shorter across the 20 foot length.

If I were to attempt a retaining wall myself, would it be cheaper/easier to go with wood or pavers?

Do I need to install some type of drain so water doesn't eventually pool in that 4 foot void?

Does the filter/pump need to be relocated? (I can use PVC and move it over 15 feet if needed although not preferred.

Is it better to go with smaller gravel or larger River Rock in the 4 foot void or does it not matter?
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May 16, 2020
Southeast PA
I would use the concrete retaining wall blocks from Home Depot or similar. Put gravel behind them to help with drainage. They will be a lot easier to work with than even cheap, lightweight wood timbers. Filter should be fine on cinderblocks and unless you had lawn drainage problems you shouldn't need a landscape drain. Can you plant anything in that area? If not, you can use river rock (or pea gravel if you need to walk on it) and slope the water away from the pool. Kind of like a dry creek bed. Use landscape fabric underneath to prevent weeds. I would avoid using sharper rock like gravel because it may end up under your liner.
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