First pool setup, lake water fill and results - lots of pics


Jun 1, 2021
Big thank you to this site and community for the wealth of information that has helped me get my pool set up. I thought I'd share my experience with setup, filling and preparing for use.

Pool: Intex - 32' X 16' X 52" Ultra Xtr Rectangular Pool Set. Got it online from walmart for around 1700 plus 129 for delivery.
Was delivered by a big truck. It weighs a lot, but you can manhandle it around if needed.
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Prep Location: I wanted to locate the pool on a flat hill top about 50' from our house. My wife wanted it on a flat spot right next to the house. So we compromised and put it right next to the house. ;)
After reviewing pncsmith's post on this site, I copied the idea of putting pink foam down for a base. I used 3/4" foam from Menards.
I'm fortunate to have a Bobcat and this saved me some time in leveling the area. I didn't want to use any kind of "fill" to build up any low spots, but I ended up having to anyway. When I was digging the high side down, I found a plastic barrier that was buried about 6" underground that I assume helps shed water away from my basement. I didn't want to disturb that. I ended up building a "form" out of 2x4's to help contain the sand and gravel in the low areas I had to fill.
I filled all the form edges with gravel and the center with sand.
For foot bases, I used two pieces of 2x6 cleated together.
For filling, I'm on a well and didn't want to burn out my pump. Water delivery would have taken a whole day (multiple truck loads) and cost around 900.00. I found a transfer pump at Menards for 100.00 and it took 1 day to pump 100ft, uphill from the lake. I was really concerned that the sand filter wouldn't be able to clean up the water. But after following the SLAM method as closely as possible and back-flushing the pump about once per day, it took about 2 weeks to clear up.
Below is basically a photo journal progression from start to finish.

Lessons learned: If I were to do it again, I think I would expand the foam base all the way out to the feet and just cut out the foam to accommodate the wood bases.

Concerns: The location worries me a bit as I don't plan on taking the pool down for the winter - just draining it part way and removing all external plumbing. I'm in northern Wisconsin and we get a lot of snow in the winter. I'm concerned with the snow coming off the roof of the house and possibly damaging the pool. If it does reach the pool, I'll have to do snow removal to keep it away from the pool. Depending how much work that is, I may move the pool next spring.
I'm also concerned about if the pool were to rupture or collapse on the side that faces the house. I may end up with a 15000 gallons of water in my basement.:eek:
My last concern is with the vinyl connectors that hold the feet to the pool liner. The pool is sitting on pink foam, but around the foam is a 2x4 frame that is about 1.5" higher than the foam and the wood base the foot sits on. This causes some upward pressure on the connector as it passes over the 2x4. I'm concerned it may rip or wear through. I'll keep an eye on it.

Future plans: If the pool stays where it is, I'll build a deck at one end for sun lounging and easier getting in and out of the pool. I'll also bring in some top soil and plant grass all around the pool for aesthetics, and to slow down/block any kind of rain/splash erosion around the pool.

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