Ground Conditions & Ground Water Handling

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Groundwater considerations for swimming pools

One common factor in relation to the proper installation of all pool shells is dealing with groundwater. If the groundwater pressure builds up the shell of the pool will be at risk unless the pressure is relieved.

Battleships were made of steel, weighed thousands of tons and floated. If the pressure is greater than the water and the weight of the concrete or fibreglass shell, it could lift or float the shell. In concrete pools not only should a hydrostatic relief valve be fitted in the lowest point but also the drainage under and around the structure should be such that the water can easily gravitate to the deepest point and if necessary operate the relief valve.

Liner pools with their porous base do not have hydrostatic relief valves because that water would permeate through the liner floor. Again the surround drainage should be designed to take water away from the structure as the liner will lift off the base and float and a floating liner is not conducive to swimming. This, in extreme cases, could mean the installation of a pumping chamber and float operated pump to take away the ground water.

The Ceramic shell should be protected in the same way as the concrete pool. It is therefore important to assess the groundwater situation, and consider the winter months, before the installation is started so that all necessary precautions can be included in the specification.

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