Soft Sided Pool Ground Prep

(Las Vegas)

Hi, I'm a new and struggling pool owner. Pool arrived today and having guest in 3 weeks. The pool is a custom sized similar to Intex type pool. Soft sided 8x16x52".

I'm in the process of preparing the ground. I've found answers to some of my questions but now I'm second guessing myself. I am also a recent home owner in a new state and finding new challenges in the condition of the ground here.

I recently move to Las Vegas. The only spot the pool will fit looks to have been layered with what looks like very dirty sand. Probably the previous owner grew grass and what ever vegetation there at one point because I'm finding areas with peat moss.

I've read on the net that you have to dig down to virgin ground. So now I'm left with very uneven ground with dips from digging out some soft sandy top layer. It looks like the soil under all that is mostly clay but not sure because I really don't know what the developers did. Could be fill dirt.

Anyway, the ground is definitely not level, it's very hard at some spots because I'm finding caliche. Very hard whitish rocks. The area is also going to be right up against a corner of my block walls and that soil is what looks like about 6 inches higher. I already dug about 4 inches of top layer from a 12x20 area to accommodate the

support legs.

Am I being overly paranoid with this leveling thing. Did I really need to remove all that dirt being I'm in the desert and do not get much rain. We do get heavy down pours sometimes though.

I'm looking at that big pile and thinking of putting it all back and renting a compactor from home depot and finish leveling with the same pile. I'm working on this on my own, 52 female, I am now thinking I dug too much already. There must be an easier way around this, but at the same time I don't want the pool to fail because I cut corners and flood the house. It is a small back yard.

So should I knock down more of the high spots to level and most likely hit more go that caliche or should I fill the pockets with the same semi sandy soil, combination of top sandy layer and some of the clay I dug up already from parts that are high.


I have built a lot of pools in Vegas and your description of the ground is perfect. It is a funny mixture of stuff.

I used what was existing and leveled with that. The high side went to the low side and was watered and packed solid. I never had a problem.

I think you are correct in using what you have already dug up to finish leveling and using the compacter to make it all solid. I think you would be fine doing that.

Comments for Soft Sided Pool Ground Prep

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Jul 14, 2014
Ground prep in Vegas
by: Anonymous

When you say build, do you mean in ground or above ground as well? At this pint I'm ready to hire some one to at least help with leveling. I spent all weekend moving the dirt neatly out of the way, and then watering raking then watering again times 4, it's close to level but not good enough. Let me know if you're taking customers. Finding landscapers in Vegas that will not flake out is next to impossible. Can't even get them to call back. And I called 3 companies.

Hi, The less you raise an area the better, but don't kill yourself doing it. If you have the dirt available, and an area needs raised, that's fine. When I do the job most everything I dig up is used for leveling, either under the pool or to build the ledge. Fill is fine as long as it is packed.

Using a transit to set the grade is very helpful. You will know exactly what needs to come down and what needs to come up. You do it one time, you set the grade, water and pack, and you are done.

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