Ground After Removing An Above Ground Pool

I am in the process of buying a home that has an existing above ground pool. I'm told the pool must be removed before closing because it does not have the proper permits. The current owners will remove it, but will not fill any remaining hole or level the ground after removing the pool.

I'm just wondering if it is a big process to level the ground after removing an above ground pool, and what it will entail in terms of effort and cost.

Thank you.



Hi. That's hard to answer without seeing the pool and the yard. Many times pools are installed with very little leveling in which case a rotor tiller should be able to mix the dirt and the sand up easily. Then you should be able to rake it off smooth and either reseed, lay sod or desert landscape.

If a lot of leveling was done before the pool installation you may need to have some fill dirt brought in. One side may be dug into the ground quite a ways and would need to be filled or possibly just beveled off to match the rest of the yard.

If the area is going to get desert landscape it may require very little prep. Plastic can be laid over the sand and the rocks could be used for any leveling needed.

Many above ground pools are installed a foot or more into the ground. This would involve having fill dirt delivered and getting it into the yard.

Grass killers may have been used under the pool and in most cases will not cause a problem. Most killers will wear off after the pool has been up a while. Exposing this ground to fresh air and tilling it a little should allow new grass to grow. There are, however, chemicals out there that may take several years to wear off. You could wait it out or remove and replace the top six inches or so of soil.

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Apr 02, 2009
Above Ground Pool Permits?
by: Phil

I put in an above ground pool with the apparent uninformed idea that they didn't require a permit,since they were considered "temporary",etc. I go to the Riverside County building & safety to try and pull an electrical line permit, as I want to have an underground line to a couple of outlets to plug the pool's filter equipment into. Upon phone calls I'm told about the electrical permit which runs $214. Only requirements I'm told on the phone was the conduit has to be under 18" of cover,etc. Nothing about distance of outlets to the pool or anything like that. Then when I show up I'm told any pool that is more than 5000 gallons and more than 24" deep requires the same permit as an inground pool!!!($472.00) OMG??? Then there's the barrier question,etc. I've searched all over the Riverside County regs online and can't find anything about specifics on above ground pools except for barriers around inground pools, steps for above ground ones having to lock,etc. Now I fear they now have ME in their clutches to do this permit or else.



Hi Phil. It sounds like they may have you right where they want you. But charging the same as for an in ground pool, that's outrageous.

Laws and codes pertaining to above ground pools vary from place to place. While most cities will be happy to sell you a permit, many do not enforce this at all. Very few of the thousands of pools that I installed were ever permitted. That was left up to the customer and very few went to the bother.

The disadvantage of not getting a permit is sort of what happened in your case. Issues could arise down the road if you sell the house or if you need a permit for something else. With an above ground pool it is always easy enough to get the permit if you get caught. There are usually setbacks that need to be adhered to and either fence or ladder rules that might apply. The worst I have ever seen happen was a pool had to be moved over one foot because it was not five foot from the property line.

My only advice is if you are going to get a permit, do so before the pool is installed. If you choose not to get the permit, the worst thing that could possibly happen is you may have to take the pool down and possibly move it. It is a portable structure and should not be treated like a permanent one. It can be taken down in a matter of hours.

Another thing is never give a name or an address when asking for permit information. Get as much information as you can and only give out these details when you have decided you definitely plan to go ahead with the permit.

Phil, it sounds like you need to get the permit, conform to the rules that you know, and let them come and inspect. Chances are everything else will be fine. But 500.00, that's highway robbery.

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