Pool Information

Our outdoor pool is 30 years old and has served us amazingly well, especially considering what we have asked it to do during this span. However, roughly 10 years ago, problems developed. The acrylic walls, the concrete floor, the patio, and the steps used for entry and exit all began to crack.

In each instance, repairs were made immediately. The steps were patched in a couple of different places until being replaced by a concrete zero depth entry and exit. Acrylic walls have been patched with fiberglass and marine grade sealants. The concrete has also been patched with a mixture of concrete and epoxy which served us best for the situation. The greatest care and the highest quality materials have been used in accordance with their intended purpose. In other words, no corners were cut, no “band aids” applied in lieu of permanent fixes. When repairs were needed that exceeded our talent, top quality contractors were hired and held to our standards. Each repair was performed with the intention that once it was repaired, it would never again be a problem. It is pleasing to report that we have done relatively well in this regard. The epoxy added to the end of the zero depth is solid. The patches and sealants in the acrylic are solid. The concrete, although dimpled to the point that it won’t hold paint in many areas, is water tight. The concrete patches have required some minor maintenance. Early in each season, we do experience a slight leak (about 1” of water per day) at the joint where the concrete and acrylic meet. It is attributed to the cold water required to fill the pool after draining and cleaning as well as cooler early season weather. Once the water is heated and the days get longer and warmer, the acrylic and concrete swell and the leak stops. Not bad for a pool in service for 30 years. In spring 2016 however, a new leak arose and it is the worst one yet.

After draining, cleaning and inspecting the pool, it was time to fill it with water for the 2016 season. This process typically takes five to six days. Last year, as we filled, it was obvious that the pool was leaking and the water had yet to rise to the known, albeit slight, trouble spot: the concrete/acrylic joint. After ten days, the pool was only approximately 75% filled. Once the pool was full, we noticed that it was losing as much as five times the amount of water that could be previously be considered normal, approximately 10,000 gallons per day. The amount of water lost was the same with or without the pumps running.

Pool Concept DrawingAt that time, all accessible plumbing lines were plugged and a leak check (dye) performed. Results of the check found no new leaks in any wall or the concrete floor. In addition, all previous patches were still intact. It was speculated that the only spot water could get out was in the suction line that runs underneath the concrete floor of the pool. We called Vaughan Pools to come in and do an inspection of their own to verify our findings. They were here the next day and did concur in principle with our findings. A lot of water may or may not be pooling in a cavity underneath the floor of the pool, pool deck, tennis court, parking lot etc. Neither we nor Vaughan Pools could definitively ascertain where the water is going (it’s still leaking) as there is no water seeping from the ground or any area around the pool. However, without viable means to get under the pool, a visual inspection is impossible. Therefore, nothing can be affirmed. What we do know is that we have 12” of steel reinforced concrete pool floor that has sustained previous repairs. It must hold nearly 1,000,000 pounds of water in addition to human activity and it may or may not have support underneath it. If there is a cavity, we are blind to how expansive it may be or in which area(s) it may reside. Additionally, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has been notified of this leak and found no cause for concern regarding permit violation(s). Upon inspection, they found no evidence that a leak from the pool could contribute to soil erosion, contaminate drinking water, or join in with a storm sewer.

Attendance at the pool for 2016 was on par with what could be considered average to slightly above average for a given year, yet we had to dispense 30% more chlorine to meet demand.