I recently got a pool filled in in my backyard. The Contractor cut three large holes (3x3') in the bottom of the pool before filling it. This is the first heavy rain of the season and I see a lot of water logging in the area where the pool was demolished and filled. In the demolition process, the Entire side wall / shell of the pool was intact because it was connected to the patio.

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Please see the picture attached.

What is the best way to fix this water logging problem now?


3 Answers 3


I'm personally suspecting "what the contractor filled the pool with" more than I am "the size of the holes in the bottom." Or it may be that the holes in the bottom do no good to speak of if the underlying soil does not drain particularly well (ie, solid clay, a condition I'm all too familiar with.)

As such, trench and install drainage pipes, rock fill and filter fabric. If the fill itself is clay-soil-based and does not drain, you might be able to do this to lead water in the pool area to the drain-hole areas (make dry wells over them.) That would have been much cheaper and easier to do as the pool was being filled in - shame on your contractor for not doing that as a matter of course, and/or for using clay-mud-fill, if that is the case as it looks to be.

If the soil under the pool is clay that won't drain you may need to punch a hole (through the side of the pool) to run a pipe to somewhere the water can drain.

  • Hi Ecnerwal, Thanks for the reply. Do you recommend to installed the perforated PVC pipes or solid PVC with catch basin?
    – David
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 19:02
  • 1
    Perforated, holes down (at roughly 5-oclock and 7 o-clock on a clock face, for the standard pipe with two lines of holes.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 13:23
  • Thanks Ecnerwal for the reply. Do i also have to install ground drains / turf drain to drain the surface water out? For using perforated pipes my only concern is perforated pipes can distribute the water instead of taking it away from the enclosed pool area. is that true?
    – David
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 16:41

The contractor should have busted up the top of the pool sides and cracked the concrete basically everywhere else. I have filled a few pools. We jackhammer the crap out of everything. There are holes punched every foot or two everywhere. You then totally chop off the first couple feet on the sides - especially on the downslope side to allow drainage.

Most water never makes it more than a couple feet deep during a rain. So water is traveling 1-2 feet underground and what does it hit - the side of your pool. So you are going to have a little pond until you fix that issue.

So at the very least you will need to dig out the entire side of the downslope. If you have a flat yard then I would dig out all three sides not adjacent to the house. You then need to bust out the first few feet and poke some holes further down. Your contractor really half-assed this job - call him back if you have a warranty or contract that allows you to.


So the entire pool shell was left intact other than those three holes in the bottom? How large is the pool? The best solution would have been to break most of the bottom layer up, that way the water had multiple paths to leave.

Again, it depends on the size of the pool vs the area removed for the holes, but think of it as a sink with 3 drains that have been clogged up. The water is running out once it reaches those holes, but it has to get to those holes. The slope of the pool floor and the dirt composition surrounding it can limit it's path. And so, if those holes are backed up or have compacted, there is no where else for the water to go but up.

The easy (at least without digging it back up) answer would be to set up some sort of drainage system. Considering you had a pool and patio there though, I'd guess it's all relatively flat land though and so again there isn't many options for the water to run to nor easy way to do it.

I believe you're going to have to have it dug back out and finish off that pool floor with a jackhammer or such.

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