Backfilling a swimming pool does not generally pose any particular technical problem. There are still some basic precautions to take. A poorly made or badly thought out swimming pool backfill or retaining wall can lead to subsequent deterioration of the pool and its surroundings.
Before doing your pool backfill, there are some fairly basic and obvious checks to make. And to properly backfill your pool, there are then specificities on the type of pool installed and the type of land on which it has been dug or buried.
Making the Wall
Above-ground swimming pool backfilling is essential if you have your pool on a slope. First, the pool has to be leveled or a level concrete slab built before installing the pool. Next, you have to construct a small terrace or retaining wall around the pool, after which you have to fill the small wall built around the pool with dirt. This retaining wall construction should be done by a mason man or a pool construction company. You can find various swimming pool retaining wall ideas online, which you can both work with.
What to Do and Check Before you Start Backfilling
When the pool is backfilled, it will no longer be possible to effortlessly access the external part of the structure. It is essential to check what should be done before filling the hole left by the terracing of the swimming pool.
Water leaks are the obsession of any pool owner. All the hydraulic circuit and potential leak points must be checked and validated; so is the connection of equipment, fixing and sealing of the parts to be sealed (skimmer, nozzle, bottom drain, etc.), sealing of joints and connections between pipes.
Once all these checks have been made, all the pipes on the ground must be covered with a large layer of sand.
The aim is to limit the risk that the stones used for the backfill do not pierce, compress or damage the pipes.
How to Backfill Above Ground Pool on a Slope
When you’re ready to backfill swimming pools with retaining walls, you can’t go wrong by following these simple rules.
- After filling the walls, you need to compress the filling gradually with compaction machines such as rammers. If you use a mechanical machine, choose a machine that is as light as possible to limit the risk of moving the walls or crushing the pipes.
- The backfill is never poured all at once. It is necessary to proceed in layers of 30 to 50 cm gradually. Add the fill, compact, add the fill, and so on. It can be considered that the layer is sufficiently compacted when your shovel can no longer sink into the backfill. You then have to move on to the next layer and so on up to the level of the wall.
- For a shell pool, the level of the backfill must be at the same level as the water. Fill 30 to 50 cm of water in the pool, then put 30 to 50 cm of backfill. Then wait for the water level to rise, and you start again. The backfilling is punctuated by the speed of filling the pool with water.
- If you are using soil, you can speed up the compactness of the backfill by watering it. However, it is not recommended for fragile structures because of the pressure exerted on the walls.
- Once the backfilling of the swimming pool is finished, you must not waste time filling it with water. Soil pressure can strain the structure, and water is the best way to contain this pressure.
Be Careful While Building Retaining Walls and Backfilling a Pool
A badly made or badly thought out swimming pool backfill will inevitably lead to subsequent deterioration of the pool walls and its surroundings. It is necessary to choose a material that respects the type of swimming pool and which, if necessary, comes to neutralize the defects of the ground.
In general, it is preferable to use crushed gravel. It costs more than dirt, but it’s safer in the long run. If in doubt, follow the recommendations of your pool manufacturer: type of backfill and how to install it.