Potential problem with new pool build...

Oscar G.

Well-known member
We are currently having a pool built in Gilbert Az and we have run into an issue and I'm not sure how to proceed. Its an inground shotcrete pool and they just finished pouring the deck two days ago. I noticed that toward the back of the deck the ground is actually higher than the deck! My yard slopes from back to front slightly, just enough for storm water to drain to the front of the house. I brought this to the attention of the construction superintendent and he said they noticed that once the deck was complete. He is telling me that it will be fine as long as I slope the ground away from the deck, creating a "V" shaped trench that will allow water to drain. He also suggested we could build a retaining wall!! I have no idea whether either of these suggestions are going to actually work and I am concerned that they did not take into account the slope of my yard and are putting the responsibility on me to make it work . Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
573
MA
Check your contract first. Some contracts include X amount of time allowed for grading and this cutting in a swale might be included in that. Ultimately he is most likely not legally responsible to provide proper drainage of your yard and even if it was known up front you would have been paying for any extensive landscaping or drainage required.That being said... Any one with the term "builder" in there title should certainly be able to spot potential drainage issues like these and "Should" have at least informed you there could be extra costs involved to get the water to work.

If you take several pictures from different angles and elevations and post them here there are a lot of very talented individuals on here that could give you some advice on how to proceed.
 
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kevinp768

Active member
Sep 30, 2018
30
Wichita KS
That looks to be a small area for a functional swale. Depending on rain amounts, it could either be a good place for a French drain, or you could do a channel drain butted up to the concrete, which would also catch any splashout from the pool as well. People more experienced than me may be better at answering this though.
 
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RoyR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 31, 2018
239
Escondido/CA
All that water from rain runoff (granted you are in a desert), irrigation etc is going to run and seep in next to the rear pool wall. Is the rear of that wall waterproofed (answer is no), so now over time, water will migrate through the wall and compromise the plaster, cause cracking and efflorescence. What is your landscaping plan around the pool? I’d add a drain line around the pool...many options like said above.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,843
Sebring, Florida
Water ALWAYS flows down hill and takes the path of least resistance. If you do not provide that path elsewhere, sooner or later water will flow into your pool.

I know you know that but it is an absolute truth and you need to be mindful of that as you re-plan your slopes.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
573
MA
Could you take a few more pics and show the house from the other side of the pool and show the area where the water drained out of the back yard?

Did you have any thoughts on what type of material you were going to put in between the pool deck and the existing landscaping?

What would look and work best and cost the most would be turning that existing piece of curbing into a retaining wall and install a French drain. I would then put a decorative stone between the patio and the new wall.

At a minimum it looks like you would need to regrade slope into a swale and install decorative stone and French drain.

As noted before a condition like this would definitely would have been a extra charge and waiting until this point does give a clearer picture of how the issue should be handled so in my opinion the only fault of the PB would be he did not alert you to the very obvious drainage problem so you could budget it in.

I would suggest getting a price from your PB to fix the issue and get some quotes from some local landscapers. They would be your best source for available options and prices. You can then post the proposed fixes here and get some input on them.

The one thing I can tell you is you do not want to end up sloping the stone all the way to the patio edge even if there is a drain. You definitely want a little pitch away from the patio edge with some type of swale so storm water does not wash over the stone and onto the deck. This is a issue that cause severe issues if not properly addressed. There is no quick fix...
 

Oscar G.

Well-known member
Check your contract first. Some contracts include X amount of time allowed for grading and this cutting in a swale might be included in that. Ultimately he is most likely not legally responsible to provide proper drainage of your yard and even if it was known up front you would have been paying for any extensive landscaping or drainage required.That being said... Any one with the term "builder" in there title should certainly be able to spot potential drainage issues like these and "Should" have at least informed you there could be extra costs involved to get the water to work.

If you take several pictures from different angles and elevations and post them here there are a lot of very talented individuals on here that could give you some advice on how to proceed.
Check your contract first. Some contracts include X amount of time allowed for grading and this cutting in a swale might be included in that. Ultimately he is most likely not legally responsible to provide proper drainage of your yard and even if it was known up front you would have been paying for any extensive landscaping or drainage required.That being said... Any one with the term "builder" in there title should certainly be able to spot potential drainage issues like these and "Should" have at least informed you there could be extra costs involved to get the water to work.

If you take several pictures from different angles and elevations and post them here there are a lot of very talented individuals on here that could give you some advice on how to proceed.
Thank you Rich. I posted some pics that may be helpful. My biggest fear is that there is no solution to prevent damage to the deck or shell from poor drainage, but I am hopeful a solution is possible. Im probably overthinking it but I have this feeling that I'm starting out with a poorly planned pool and that it will result in ongoing issues.
 

Oscar G.

Well-known member
That looks to be a small area for a functional swale. Depending on rain amounts, it could either be a good place for a French drain, or you could do a channel drain butted up to the concrete, which would also catch any splashout from the pool as well. People more experienced than me may be better at answering this though.
Yes, the area with the palm is my biggest concern because it is so tight in that area.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
573
MA
Thank you Rich. I posted some pics that may be helpful. My biggest fear is that there is no solution to prevent damage to the deck or shell from poor drainage, but I am hopeful a solution is possible. Im probably overthinking it but I have this feeling that I'm starting out with a poorly planned pool and that it will result in ongoing issues.
There were certainly options with the pool build such as raising the pool (which would have probably meant stepping up to your pool deck) or raised pool beam which gives a trip Hazzard so they probably were not the best options..

This can definitely be fixed at this point. It will just require a bit more funding...
 
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Oscar G.

Well-known member
Could you take a few more pics and show the house from the other side of the pool and show the area where the water drained out of the back yard?

Did you have any thoughts on what type of material you were going to put in between the pool deck and the existing landscaping?

What would look and work best and cost the most would be turning that existing piece of curbing into a retaining wall and install a French drain. I would then put a decorative stone between the patio and the new wall.

At a minimum it looks like you would need to regrade slope into a swale and install decorative stone and French drain.

As noted before a condition like this would definitely would have been a extra charge and waiting until this point does give a clearer picture of how the issue should be handled so in my opinion the only fault of the PB would be he did not alert you to the very obvious drainage problem so you could budget it in.

I would suggest getting a price from your PB to fix the issue and get some quotes from some local landscapers. They would be your best source for available options and prices. You can then post the proposed fixes here and get some input on them.

The one thing I can tell you is you do not want to end up sloping the stone all the way to the patio edge even if there is a drain. You definitely want a little pitch away from the patio edge with some type of swale so storm water does not wash over the stone and onto the deck. This is a issue that cause severe issues if not properly addressed. There is no quick fix...
I attached more pics. My plan was to fill in with landscaping gravel especially since there is not a lot of room left in the yard after installing the pool.

I will probably put down some wood chips or something pool friendly under the swing on the play set.

Thank you!
 

Attachments

Oscar G.

Well-known member
There were certainly options with the pool build such as raising the pool (which would have probably meant stepping up to your pool deck) or raised pool beam which gives a trip Hazzard so they probably were not the best options..

This can definitely be fixed at this point. It will just require a bit more funding...
I''m very happy to hear it is fixable, thank you! Just gonna have to bite the bullet and get it done once I have a solid plan!
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
573
MA
You certainly have a few obstacles to overcome but it certainly looks doable. The swing set makes it interesting. I would do some research on possible products to put in play grounds. There are a lot of new products out there. Whatever you use it will most likely end up in the pool. Bark mulch seems to be the most difficult thing for me to get out of the pool. I would think if you had something that stayed floating it would be the easiest to recover. It would also appear to be very difficult to get any kind of swale to work under the swing set, so I would assume you would bring the water the other way. The new equipment pad makes that route challenging but not impossible. I noticed there are no gutters on the back roof. How is the water coming off the roof being handled/ directed?
 

Oscar G.

Well-known member
You certainly have a few obstacles to overcome but it certainly looks doable. The swing set makes it interesting. I would do some research on possible products to put in play grounds. There are a lot of new products out there. Whatever you use it will most likely end up in the pool. Bark mulch seems to be the most difficult thing for me to get out of the pool. I would think if you had something that stayed floating it would be the easiest to recover. It would also appear to be very difficult to get any kind of swale to work under the swing set, so I would assume you would bring the water the other way. The new equipment pad makes that route challenging but not impossible. I noticed there are no gutters on the back roof. How is the water coming off the roof being handled/ directed?
I'm not sure what to do about the swing set especially now, having to solve the drainage issue. I didn't want to ret rid of it yet but we'll see. We will be installing gutters to direct the water toward the front of the yard so it can drain to the street.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
573
MA
I'm not sure what to do about the swing set especially now, having to solve the drainage issue. I didn't want to ret rid of it yet but we'll see. We will be installing gutters to direct the water toward the front of the yard so it can drain to the street.
After looking at the pics again, you should be able to run the stone swale in between the support for the swing and the patio edge. You could even have support in the sale to give a bit more room. This would help keep whatever you use for a surface under the swing out of the pool.

I assume water can run down both sides of the house out to the street?

Does the city allow you to run the water to the street like that?
Is that how most homes do this?
Is there underground drainage in the street that they allow you to tie into?
 
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Oscar G.

Well-known member
After looking at the pics again, you should be able to run the stone swale in between the support for the swing and the patio edge. You could even have support in the sale to give a bit more room. This would help keep whatever you use for a surface under the swing out of the pool.

I assume water can run down both sides of the house out to the street?

Does the city allow you to run the water to the street like that?
Is that how most homes do this?
Is there underground drainage in the street that they allow you to tie into?
I always assumed water was intended to drain down both side of the house. Now that you have asked though, I'm not 100% sure but it looks like it. I can find out. Most, if not all, the homes in my development drain from the back of the property to the street.
 

Oscar G.

Well-known member
After looking at the pics again, you should be able to run the stone swale in between the support for the swing and the patio edge. You could even have support in the sale to give a bit more room. This would help keep whatever you use for a surface under the swing out of the pool.

I assume water can run down both sides of the house out to the street?

Does the city allow you to run the water to the street like that?
Is that how most homes do this?
Is there underground drainage in the street that they allow you to tie into?
How quickly to I need to get this drainage issue resolved? Monsoon season has "officially" started but it hasn't rained yet. I feel like I need time to get this right and not be in a rush. I'm hoping one monsoon season won't have adverse affects. What are your thoughts?
 

swan771

Active member
May 2, 2019
26
Palo Cedro, CA
We owned a home (spec) with a downslope in the rear of the yard that was never properly addressed by the builder. About 2 years into owning it all of the tile in the house started to crack and lift. When we demoed it, the slab was literally wet. The builder came back and installed a french drain the entire length of the yard at the base of the slope and tied it into the drainage in the front yard that drained to the street. We covered it with nice landscaping rock. Solved the problem and looked nice. Our next door neighbor put in a pool and had nothing but problems. He had to go back and pull up sod and new concrete poured in the side yard to do the same thing. I don't understand why pool contractors don't address these things?

At any rate, on this build, we used a perforated pipe that leads to a french drain in between our new pool deck and existing patio and covered it in salt & pepper landscape rock instead of using strip drains. I am very happy with the result!
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,616
Chandler AZ
In Gilbert, AZ it is perfectly fine to have rain runoff directed to the street. It will either go into the storm sewer or into the commumity common areas (retention basins). As for backyard drainage, gutters on the house and possibly have the downspouts go into 4" drain pipe. The area behind/next to the pool can also have this drainage pipe with grates every so often to move the water toward the street. Tie the gutter and other drainage pipes together and run the pipe to the front. Of course, you will need an overall downhill slope to the street. You can also tie in any spots in the side yards where water might pool. All pipes underground and out of sight.

If you go this route, I'd recommend solid, non-perforated, pipe due to our clay/caliche soil.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
573
MA
How quickly to I need to get this drainage issue resolved? Monsoon season has "officially" started but it hasn't rained yet. I feel like I need time to get this right and not be in a rush. I'm hoping one monsoon season won't have adverse affects. What are your thoughts?
MONSOON.... We do not have those around these parts but it sounds like a lot of water in a little time... You definitely need to get a lot of material out from around the pool for ant type of drainage and stone to be installed so I would at the very least have a good size trench Dug around the perimeter of the pool so any storm water will get to the street instead into the pool.