What Do You Do With an Unwanted In Ground Pool?

A backyard swimming pool can either be the crown jewel of its surroundings, or be an eyesore that requires costly and time-consuming removal efforts. If it becomes the latter case, doing away with it could prove expensive and time consuming.

Full pool removal involves draining, dismantling, and hauling away the structure before filling in with dirt and compacting it for easier disclosures if selling your home. This method reduces sunken areas while making selling easier.


Draining a pool can be an enormous task and can be hazardous without proper equipment. Most pool repair or refinishing contractors will handle this step for you; but it’s wise to remain aware of how they are conducting their process in order to monitor them appropriately.

When draining a pool, its contents must go somewhere, which typically involves draining it directly into the soil. Unfortunately, this can create several issues, from foundation cracking and leakage issues to redirecting natural drainage into areas it shouldn’t go and potentially damaging both your yard or that of a neighbor’s. Furthermore, problems can escalate if the pool was built in an incompatible area for swimming pools, or its builder performed inadequate grading work in grading your yard properly.

Assuming your pool hasn’t been in disrepair for an extended period, and is no longer usable, draining may not always be necessary. Draining may only become necessary when performing repairs that cannot be accomplished with its existing water, or when its TDS level becomes uncontrollable no matter the chemicals added to stabilize it.

If you decide to drain your pool, be sure to comply with all local dumping laws and employ professional assistance when draining it. As these can vary greatly from place to place, hiring a pool expert could save both you and the ground from potential harm; as well as helping determine whether draining is indeed necessary as they can also provide cost estimates of professional removal services; in many instances this may actually prove cheaper in the long run!


If you own an unwanted inground pool, it is imperative that it is backfilled properly in order to avoid issues ranging from pool pop ups, boggy backyards and soil erosion that damages nearby homes. When selecting your backfill material it will have an effect on how quickly and compactly your area settles down and compacts.

Backfill materials that provide optimal results include coarse fill dirt, gravel and topsoil. Coarse fill dirt should typically make up about 80% of backfill material and be mixed with gravel to increase drainage and ease compaction. Finally, two feet should be filled out with screened topsoil; this will create rich yet well-draining soil suitable for growing grass, plants and flowers.

Utilizing dirt as backfill is not recommended, as it takes weeks or months for it to fully compact, leaving gaps under the soil that could pose future issues. Furthermore, dirt’s granular texture means it shifts and depresses easily – without proper precautions your pool area could end up sinking or sagging!

At the core of any successful space lies your long-term goals for it. If your plans include planting grass or plants, the cheapest and easiest option would be using coarse fill soil mixed with gravel and topsoil as backfill. Water and tamp it regularly until its proper settling; for sod and trees however, additional topsoil may be required, since their roots require richer soil for growth.

Partial backfill may appear cheaper and simpler, but improper drainage could leave your pool submerged in water for too long, turning it into an eyesore and forcing future home buyers to work around it.

Complete removal can be more expensive, but leaves the yard as though there never was one there. Furthermore, it may be the better option for anyone hoping to sell their home in the future as they won’t need to worry about an impediments that might compromise a sale deal.

Saltwater Pools

At first glance, owning an in ground pool might seem like the ultimate home ownership luxury; for others however, its presence can be an unwanted drain on time and money, not to mention safety hazards for both children and animals. While taking down an existing inground pool might not be easy or straightforward process, its removal shouldn’t be seen as impossible either.

First and foremost, you must switch off power to the pool equipment pad by flipping a breaker. Next, emptying it by pumping water downhill or into a storm drain (plaster pools only) must occur to fully emptying your pool and opening hydrostatic plugs as soon as drained.

If you want a way to avoid draining and refilling your swimming pool, considering switching it over to saltwater could be the perfect way. Doing so will eliminate chlorine spikes and drops caused by traditional chlorinated pools while offering smooth, silky swims without costly upkeep or maintenance requirements.

Converting to a saltwater pool can be relatively straightforward, though you will first need to ensure the total dissolved solids (TDS) levels fall under 2,500ppm before beginning adding salt. You may need to drain and refill your pool to achieve this, which will prevent you from experiencing costly water balance issues in the future.

Before switching your pool over to saltwater, make sure you have a plan in place for its removal from its location. Some people choose gardening instead, although holes must be drilled for drainage purposes if this option is chosen. Having fill dirt delivered and pumped as close to its opening may also help.

Additional points should be kept in mind: Salt water is highly corrosive. When switching to a saltwater pool, you will require the addition of a sacrificial anode – a piece of zinc that takes the brunt of saltwater damage before it attacks any metal parts within your system. Furthermore, running a saltwater pool requires more electricity than chlorine pools, thus leading to higher utility bills.


Pools can be an enjoyable addition to your home for some, while others find them unwanted expenses and safety risks for children. There may be numerous reasons for you to remove an inground pool; but to make the job successful it’s essential that a professional specializes in doing it well and ensures quality backfill and no unexpected costs after removal.

Partially removing the pool may be less costly but may cause future headaches. Without proper drainage in place, water may pool and become boggy; dirt fill-in used to replace it won’t last as long; building structures on this type of land such as sheds or patios becomes difficult; you must disclose this fact to potential buyers; etc.

Complete removal of the pool involves draining it entirely, dismantling and removing concrete and rebar, then filling the hole with compacted soil that has been graded. Although this approach may be more expensive, it will make the area safe for structures like sheds, gardens, trees and landscaping as well as reduce sinkage from buried concrete. A wildlife garden may also be added at this stage by installing appropriate pumps and filters.

Though removing a pool is an upfront investment, it will ultimately pay dividends in the form of lower maintenance costs and an uncluttered yard. Monthly pool maintenance fees can quickly mount, and home owners who opt to fill their old pool in and make space usable again often use it to cultivate vegetable or herb gardens, add an outdoor kitchen, create water-wise or fire pit gardens or turn their yard into a backyard retreat. Just ensure you hire an experienced contractor as well as secure an engineer’s report before beginning this work; this will identify potential problems such as subsidence or flooding issues while outlining any necessary backfill types or backfill options required before beginning work begins.