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I have decided to fill in my inground pool next spring, and am doing some upfront planning. My understanding of the "anatomy" of an inground pool wall is this:

enter image description here

So as you can see, the concrete patio sits on top of raw earth/dirt, and the wall (I'm not sure at this point what its made of, likely polymer) has some coping sitting on top of it (I forgot to include the liner which would obviously be on the outside of the wall and terminate in between the wall and the coping).

So first off, if my diagram is horribly incorrect, please begin by correcting me!

So I want to fill this in. Let's wave a magic wand and pretend we don't have to worry about building codes, and let's say that I have no intentions of ever building any structure/foundation over the pool at anytime. (If my comment about building code offends you, the "TL;DR" version is: I live in an extremely rural, 1-traffic-light town that has no building & code enforcement office. The town clerk claims that they delegate all building code enforcement to the county level. I called the county code enforcement office and they have no idea what the town clerk was saying and they claim they have no jurisdiction and never even set foot in the town I live in. LOL. Murica!)

Now then, the problem at hand. If my diagram is correct, then when I bust up the concrete (I'm going to rent one of those bobcats with a jackhammer attachment and just destroy everything in my path), there will be some 4 - 12 inches of wall exposed above the ground. Thus my thinking is that I will need to dig a trench and "cut" out this 4"-12" of wall around the entire perimeter of my pool like so:

enter image description here

Any ideas as to how I might accomplish this? Of course, if my understanding about pool "anatomy" is incorrect, I might not even have this problem in the first place.

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    Have you drilled and "exploratory" holes in the pool wall to see what it's really made of? Once you know the materials involved, I'm sure you'll get better answers. – JPhi1618 Oct 29 '15 at 13:50
  • Thanks @JPhi1618 (+1) I'll try doing that ASAP. However I did try the suggestion to use a magnet and the pool walls do not appear to be steel, so I'd say to any prospective answer-ers: let's assume non-steel until I have a chance to actually verify (which might have to wait until this weekend, to my dismay). – smeeb Oct 29 '15 at 13:52
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    With your rural location, and trench diagram, my vote is to wrap detonation cord around the top of the pool and duck and cover. – JPhi1618 Oct 29 '15 at 13:59
  • @JPhi1618 not sure if serious? I can't tell if you're joking, or if you're making fun of my redneck town, or making fun of my bad drawing skills. Or maybe all of the above. Either way, I think this is a legitimate question and don't think I need to spend thousands of dollars on a contractor (who wreaks of Bud Lite) to come in and make some cuts for me. – smeeb Oct 29 '15 at 14:14
  • No offense meant at all! I was just joking around because popping the top off the pool with one bang would be pretty cool. Your trench and cut idea is a solid plan, and I'm happy to delete these last few comments to clean up the question. – JPhi1618 Oct 29 '15 at 14:23
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A lot of people are doing the same thing here in the South- Western part of the States (mostly because of the drought). But it sounds like you have the plan (man). Be ready to deal with the embedded cage of re-bar. The hydraulic bobcat hammer is the apex demo tool to bust concrete, but you'll have to cut some tenacious 1/2 inch rebar (reciprocating saw, oxy-acetylene). I'm guessing you'll just let it drop to the pool bottom to act as fill? The next tool you should consider using to cut through reinforced concrete is a concrete wet saw (like a Stihl TS400). This is a gas powered portable saw with a 14 inch blade and usually has a connection for a hose so as to spray the airborne dust from spreading. Also, be alert to the electric lines buried for any pool lights and expect to see 1 1/2 inch PVC encircling the entire pool shell. FYI: I've read (but never witnessed) an occurrence that may happen if the ground around the pool shell is thoroughly saturated and the pool is empty the pool can be pushed from the ground due to static water pressure.

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    It's not an urban legend. You should definitely punch some good size holes through the bottom before you start filling it with dirt/debris, to make sure it does not "float" up later. Please be careful of not only the power lines mentioned previously but also when operating the tractor near the edge. If it sloughs off and caves in with you in the Bobcat it would be unpleasant. – Jimmy Fix-it Oct 30 '15 at 20:44

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