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Can Fiberglass Pools be Built on Fill-Dirt?

By: Marcus Sheridan on October 12th, 2010

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Can Fiberglass Pools be Built on Fill-Dirt?

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This article is going to be short and sweet, but it’s the result of a disturbing email I received the other day that made me realize we hadn’t covered the following subject in our blog. The email read:

Hi Marcus, my builder says it’s OK to build a fiberglass pool on top of fill dirt, is this true?

As you can very well imagine, any pool, whether it’s concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass, needs to be built on solid, undisturbed soil (concrete pools can use pillars, but that’s another article for another day).

Why?

Because fill dirt settles, plain and simple (unless it has been tested by an engineer).

Because so many homes, especially in subdivisions, consist of substantial fill-dirt in the back yard, it’s not uncommon to have to make special arrangements to deal with such soil conditions.

For example, let’s say that there is 4 feet of fill dirt in your back yard but the swimming pool is only 3 feet deep in the shallow end. When excavating for this pool, you’d have to dig to the virgin soil (4 feet down) in the shallow-end area and then bring the hole up to grade with gravel.

Although this could cost you a few thousand dollars more, it’s the only way to ensure the pool does not have settling issues over time. This rule also applies to tree trunks, debris, and any other items other than rock and dirt that may be buried under the ground.

As always, happy swimming, and thank you for being a part of our community here at River Pools and Spas.