If you have a hillside or a slope in your backyard, installing a pool can be challenging. However, it is possible with careful planning and a little bit of creativity. Here are 5 common things to consider when building a pool on a hillside or a slope.
• Geotechnical Issues
There are a number of geotechnical issues to consider when building a pool on a hillside or a slope. These include soil gradation, bearing capacity, shrink and swell potential, lateral earth pressure and groundwater conditions.
Soil gradation can alter the stability of a foundation structure, potentially resulting in cracking of the pool shell or uneven heaving or settlement of the bottom if the soil swells and shrinks with moisture content change. This can result in significant damage to a pool shell or below grade piping systems. A qualified geotechnical engineer can conduct a study of the site to provide data on these soil properties and recommendations for the structural design of the pool shell. The study involves analyzing soil samples taken from borings drilled on the site.
Terraces are ridges and channels constructed across-the-slope, usually at regular intervals to regulate water flow and storage. This is a soil conservation practice that helps prevent rainfall runoff from accumulating on a steep sloping land surface and causing severe erosion.
Even though terracing is typically used for crop irrigation, when you’re building a pool on a hillside or a slope, you will need to consider terracing issues as well. If you have a significant slope, terracing can be a very effective solution to help keep your pool level while making it look intentional and beautiful. The best pool builders will be able to design and build a series of retaining walls that divide the slope into multiple levels, creating a gradual step-down effect.
• Retaining Walls
Retaining walls are a great way to ensure proper drainage and protect your pool from erosion. They are also a very attractive design feature that can be used to create a more distinctive and pleasant space around your swimming pool. Retaining walls can be made from masonry, poured concrete, or stacked stones.
• Infinity Edges
One of the most dramatic and striking features to consider when building a pool on a hillside or slope is the infinity edge. Infinity-edge pools feature a wall that slopes downward to allow water to fall into a lower catch pool, which is hidden from view. This water is then pumped back into the main pool, creating the waterfall effect. However, do note that they are not for every backyard. If your property has a very steep slope for example, you’ll need serious engineering and support to accommodate the pool, which can add to the cost.
Drainage is an important element in the construction of any swimming pool and outdoor area. It can prevent water from causing damage to landscaping, decks, patios, and home exteriors. When you’re building a pool on a hillside or slope, it’s a good idea to work with a professional contractor who knows what drainage solutions can best keep your property safe from the hazards of uncontrolled water. There are a number of drainage solutions to consider, including permeable paving, French drains, and catch basin drainage systems. Each system works differently, but all three can keep unwanted runoff water away from your yard, deck, and pool.