In-ground pool, contemplating no winter cover

Land of the Locust

New member
Jun 6, 2009
Long Island, NY
Hi everyone,

This spring I struggled to remove a massive tarp left in place by previous homeowners, pumping off innumerable gallons of water and raking off a million soggy leaves. I vowed never again and left it by the curb.

Now I'm in a predicament. I need a new pool cover, the pool is large with a back rock wall and earthen berm with waterfall. Therefore I need a custom cover with anchors drilled into the rocks etc. I'm getting quoted around $7700 for a Lacuna 95% mesh cover with sewn in padding to protect it from the coping. Sounds like the right way to do it, but I really need a break from massive expenses.

Questions for the group:
1. Think I can get away with no cover this winter? Oak trees are already dropping acorns; white pines dropping needles constantly. Yes, I'm going to try to trim back the brush (see pics)
2. Any reason not to drain it dry, since it's gunite? I'm hoping that solves the issue of algae when I fill it back up in spring. It's fenced in and locked (not shown).


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Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Your plaster is going to take a beating if left dry to the weather over a winter.

If you don't open hydrostatic drains to relieve any groundwater pressure you risk the pool popping out of the ground. The weight of pool water offsets any ground water pushing the pool up.

You will get an accumulation of leaves, dirt, water, snow and ice in the shell. The tanin in the leaves will stain your plaster. You will have a big mess to clean up in the spring.


Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
Columbia, MD
All the stuff that was on the old cover will be in the pool. I switched to a safety cover over 10 years ago. While heavier than the float on with water bags of the past, it’s actually easier to handle since it’s not weighted down with green water in the spring. Cost wise, they’re definitely more expensive and price wise compare to buying a new float on cover every year. But the convenience is what you’re paying for.

Land of the Locust

New member
Jun 6, 2009
Long Island, NY
Yes, I heard from a couple sources about the pool popping out of the ground once it's no longer below the frost line. So, never mind draining it dry.

I was able to negotiate the price down considerably, so I'm just going to swallow the expense. Thx for the feedback!

(kellyp thanks for the comment--it is quite beautiful, also quite infuriating to care for!)


Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
Monmouth County, New Jersey
The best thing to do is to move the leaves over either with a heavy duty blower (to the deep end), or whichever side you prefer and pump water off regularly. Then in the spring, remove the leaves first and then pump water off the second time. Yes, it becomes a PIA, but you will have just as much work, if not more by allowing leaves to accumulate in the pool, plus all the other possible consequences. The other option is to have a leaf net over the tarp (which I contemplate each year, but the cost is over $100), to lift the leaves up, allow to dry and remove only leaving water, making life easier. Good luck and keep us posted!