"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pool Drama

I love water.  My kids love water.  Geoff tolerates water.  Last year we got a pool when the kids finished school (and they were on sale at Walmart).  We set it up in the beginning of July and had a nice summer of swimming.  But where we had put it, it wasn't optimal placement. We weren't too worried about it, since we were working on other parts of the yard.

This year, however, we are working on that part of the yard.  We are building a beach area, with the firepit, we have ripped out the old garden and put new boxes.  We moved the trampoline and the kids' playset.  Adam redid the river, and we have planted some new plants.

We picked a new spot for the pool.  Adam helped out and laid some peat moss in a nice circle.  I spent one night with Sawyer put it up, and the next night cleaning out the accumulated gunk from a fall, winter and spring of storage.  Then, we started filling it up.  I told the kids they would be swimming by Sunday.  This was Friday.

Saturday morning, I got up bright and early, and got ready to head out and pick up some chemicals to get the water off on the right foot.  My dad was already here, putting a new load of sand into our beach area.  He told me that we had a leak in the pool.  Sure enough, a hole the size of a dime was in the bottom of the pool on the low end (I knew one end was a bit lower than the other, but not by more than an inch or so).  So Geoff and the kids and I went out looking for a patch kit.  My dad remembered that there were patches you could get that would work underwater.  We looked and looked.  Couldn't find it.  Finally after a couple of hours (we did other things too, it wasn't just a patch hunt!) I found some at Canadian Tire.  Trouble was, they aren't underwater patches. 

The instructions said to clean and dry the spot to repair.  How do I do that when it is under a foot of water?  Easy, I don't.  I patched the outside.  Easy Peasy (sorta).  It was a mess, I had to bury my hand in the peat moss (and the bugs that were in there too, I'm sure) and there was toxic glue all of the damn place, but I eventually got 2 patches on.  It seems to have held.  I say seems to, because after Sunday, it was hard to tell. 

So, Saturday.  Patch is on.  All is well.  I had my book club gathering that evening, a lovely night with my ladies.  We sat on the beach, had a fire, roasted marshmallows and had some bevvies. The whole time, I have the hose running, filling up my now intact pool.

Sunday, I wake up and travel outside, a little hung over and thinking excitedly about taking a dip and washing the headache away. What I encountered was a pool with a very, VERY distinct lean to it.  Like, a lot.  I had maybe 2, 2 1/2 feet of water on one side and over 4 ft on the other.  The legs on the pool that had been straight up and down the day before were completely shifted and some had even lifted a bit off the ground.  Son of a B.  This isn't good.  The weight of the water had shifted what was a slight variance in level into a major one.  Now, we dealing with it potentially collapsing, hurting someone, and causing tons of damage.

I tried to think of a way to save it.  I googled "leveling a pool with water in it".  Yeah, apparently you can't do that. So..so...sadly, I had to pull the plug.  Literally.  I pulled the drain plug out of the high side of the pool and started the long slow process of getting thousands of gallons of water into my lawn.  And my neighbours' lawns.  Thank God for good drainage. 

We had Geoff's family for dinner on Sunday night, and the dogs got to enjoy running through the muck and the mud and the drained out water.  It was gross, but good fun. 

This afternoon, my brother and I started repairing the damage.  The pool had drained enough that the water had dropped below the drain.  We used 2 gallon buckets to bail out some of the water on the deep end.  Once we got it down enough, we pulled part of the pool apart, and folded down the side, and drained the rest. We picked  it up and moved it off to the side.  By then, my lunch break was over and I had to go back to work.  Adam got to dig out the dirt, in 37 degree heat, and started rolling it out and using his ingenious leveling tool. Tonight, the ground is settling, and tomorrow we will lay down some more peat moss, or sand or something, level it out, fill in the gaps, and then the pool can go up again.  Then we start the filling all over again.

Oh, I know, these are totally first world problems.  Rough life to have. And it will all totally be worth it in the end, when we get to have the kids in the pool, playing and learning to swim.  It should be fun. Once we finally get there.

Thank again to my brother for making shit happen.  I don't know what we would do without him.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stand for "not easy, but worth it".

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