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Re: Effect of swimming pool on retaining wall

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        Hold on there, Bill.  I don't agree with your last statement.
        If you have any shrinkage or swelling at all the soil adjacent to the pool may actually shrink away from contact with the pool wall leaving no support for the wall whatever.  On the other hand, if the ground water level is at the surface you could have fully saturated soil outside of the pool and have the pool empty which provided the opposite extreme loading condition for the pool wall.
        The effects of buoyancy due to high groundwater and an empty pool haven't been discussed yet.  I've seen underground tanks (and other reliable witnesses I know have seen swimming pools) actually pop out of the ground due to buoyancy.  Two ways of dealing with this are: extend the pool bottom a couple of feet or more so that you can consider the weight of the surrounding backfill as part of the resisting dead weight; and provide RELIABLE drainage of the material beside and below the pool to prevent the buoyancy condition from occurring.  If the retaining wall height is more than the pool depth the drainage option would seem to be most practical.
        You could, I suppose, use a common wall for the pool and retaining wall.  If you do I would suggest using the wall as part of the swimming pool and completely separate the retaining wall from the pool with a full isolation joint.  My inclination would be not to do this because it would seem to interfere with poolside safety (no walkway beside the pool).
        Respectfully submitted.
H. Daryl Richardson
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2006 7:32 AM
Subject: RE: Effect of swimming pool on retaining wall

From: Will Haynes [mailto:gtg740p(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2006 7:39 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Effect of swimming pool on retaining wall


"The lateral pressure is greater for the water, but the pool walls (I'm assuming that the walls are designed without help from counteracting soil pressure) will restrain that pressure"


I am not sure about that one.



Neither am I. My assumption is that swimming pools depend a great deal upon the resistance of the soil, particularly residential pools.