High Water Table - Changing Depth - Is pool guy doing the right thing?

Momof517

Member
May 19, 2020
7
Massachusetts
Hi - I am posting bc we are having issues with our new pool and I just want to have some reassurance that we are headed in the right direction and making the best choices.

History: Hired pool company in Feb 2019 to begin installation of inground 16X32 rectangular steel/vinyl pool with Salt water in April/May 2019. We live in Massachusetts and start date was supposed to be dependent on weather. Husband asked if we would need plot plan. Told no by builder. Total cost estimated to be approx $26,500 plus taxes. We pay additional amt for permit, water, etc. Signed Contract.
April 2019 - Pool company applied for permit. Town told builder that we need a plot plan. Historical road and no nearby plans. Have to hire engineer. Nobody wanted to do it bc there were no markers at any nearby homes. Lots of work.
July 2019 - Plot plan complete. Cost $2000.
August 2019 - Pool install begins. Crew hits ground water in deep end. Installs pump below base, installs pumps, lights, filters, vermiculite, coping, liner and 2 truck loads of water. Temporary fence put up by fence company until permanent install 2 wks later.
Pool turns green. Pool company returns to help adjust water.
Sept 2019 - fence installed. Agree to close pool and let the ground settle over the winter. Will install concrete decking, stair rails and ladder in Spring. Make final payment. Also pay for builder to close the pool for the season. They lower water level and close pool.
March 2020 - schedule pool opening for April 15 with builder
April 15 - pool company opens pool and starts to add more water. Water level does not rise to appropriate level. Call pool company. They empty pool and discover drain was damaged when pool water was being added bc high water table kicked a rock up into the drain in the deep end. Pool liner starts floating. Water under liner. 2 more Pumps added to try to remove ground water under liner. Neighbors start to get angry about water flowing from tubes coming from pumps to swampy area behind house not on our property. Water diverted to street in front of house.
May 12th - One month later. Pool is still empty. Concern for vermiculite base and floatingliner. 3 pumps running. Pool company says water is being pumped at 257 gallons per. 3rd pump added.
I insist on a more permanent solution as we are continuously told that the ground water will determine the timeline. Stamped concrete deck and rails have been installed. Deck, Gazebo, outside furniture and firepit are ready to go. Weather is warm. Liner is stretched and dirty. Vermiculite must be a mess underneath. Husband asks builder if it would be best to raise the depth of the deep end. Builder says he woukd rather not. I make a call to Latham to see what the Warranty department says about the issue especially bc the liner has been sitting empty for a month. They tell me that the liners are durable but if there is something wrong they will come out and take a look. I also ask if we decide to change the depth of the deep end, if we can receive a deep discount on the replacement. They say yes and to email them.
Conversation with builder - he agrees to raising the height of deep end from 8 + ft to 6 ft. Says he will need to raise drains, fill with sand, revermiculite and replace liner. Estimates sand cost to be $500 and liner cost to be $1400.
I text daily to ensure that he has ordered new liner. He states that they had an error w the drawing. Sent it back to update. Approved. Text on May 17th - pool builder stated that it is being manufactured. He said when he knows when it will be received, he will order sand to be delivered at the same time and can do the job in one day. Texted to ask for timeline. No response yet.
Now that I look back on this I have some questions.
1. When the builder hit a troublesome water table in August (dryest month of the year) should he have adjusted anything other than just adding the pump?
2. Now that we are raising the depth, is it appropriate for his 3 man crew to do all that work in one day?
3. I am frustrated that my 5 kids are staring at this eyesore of a pool for the past month while he “waits” for the water table to lower so he can fix the bottom. This is a brand new pool! It is an eyesore for everyone right now. Hoping that by raising the depth to 6 ft we won’t have the water table issues although we are still leaving the pump there permanently. Should we be doing anything else? Is there anything else I should be aware of?
4. What new costs should I be responsible for? Pool liner? Sand? Extension of drain piping? Vermiculite? What about LABOR? I already paid him the whole cost of the original installation, plus to open the pool and to close the pool. Side note: He has not had final inspection done yet.
Sorry for the lengthy read. I have never owned a pool before and want to double check that everything is being done correctly.
Thank you!!!
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,808
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

It does not sound like the builder did anything wrong. They cannot be held responsible for unforeseen conditions discovered in the dig on your property. That can be rock or water. You may have hit an underground stream in where you placed the pool. Now the builder needs to develop and install a water management plan.

It sounds like the builder is trying to do the right thing with your situation. You need to negotiate with the builder on the extra costs.

@jimmythegreek @Rich D thoughts?
 
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jrogers4649

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2019
52
Westminster, Massachusetts
I kind of disagree with the post above. The water management plan should have been worked out before they put vermiculite, drains, liner in. Why did they continue install with a water issue that wasn't corrected. FWIW when I had a liner pool I had a similar issue. A single blade of grass got caught in the ground water valve in the bottom of the pool and it drained out over 2 days. Liner floated. I had no idea why it was draining at the time or I'd have been able to fix it before that happened. But the liner ended up with wrinkles on the bottom permanently.
 
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Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
929
MA
Some things Are not adding up. How did they drain the pool if the water table was still that high? Sounds like they might not have had the water under control before they drained the pool.

Could you post some pics of the sump and the pumping operation and the flow coming out of the hoses. It sounds like they need a bigger pump not more small pumps.
 

Momof517

Member
May 19, 2020
7
Massachusetts
Thank you all for your replies.
Here are the first 10 photos I have taken throughout the process since it will only
Let me upload 10 at a time here. I will have 10 in each of the comments below. @Rich D I will take some pics of the pump and water flow and post them in a little while. 34771694-E6BC-4CC1-925C-53021CA6F65A.jpeg16A561C8-7F21-4653-A1EA-4432FFB479BF.jpeg6C31074D-D238-453C-8A18-C11009AE7653.jpegBBAA7957-5BC7-4AE1-80E7-1705263AB9A2.jpegA58B18A9-93B0-4E6A-BBA8-4C54C5BD1199.jpegFE207651-9B2B-41E2-AB92-D54ED0A43ED9.jpegBFFBF2F9-4A20-4044-9FEC-EF533F9929CD.jpeg038B8A41-B710-49CA-B2D7-E48DB0F204D8.jpeg23BC64B1-06E2-4932-9D3E-DCF7E6E1ECD3.jpeg4CEC5B75-52F0-4E8D-B492-D495DBE04BA4.jpeg
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
929
MA
Ummm.. ok so they did not install any type of sump pit for de-watering before backfill and are attempting to pump out ground water from inside pool and under liner. Is that correct ?
 
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