Our Atlanta, GA house has a swimming pool surrounded by cement. At the back, the cement abuts with a narrow strip of soil, maybe 4 feet wide by about 30 feet long, with a fence behind it. The soil strip has plants for ground cover on it. Over the years, either the cement has sunk or the earth has raised, or both, so that the earth strip is now several inches (say 2-4 inches) higher than the cement. Water puddles up at the junction of the cement and earth, and doesn't drain well. What are some options for improving drainage at the junctions? I'd prefer something quick and simple.


1 Answer 1


I would get a sod cutter and remove that strip. Does water flow from the edge of your swimming pool to collect at that margin? Definitely get that DAM down. If the soil is still to high beyond your fence line then a trench drain is in order. The top of this drain should be BELOW the soil in line with the slope away from the pool to accept the drainage from the concrete around your pool. We can help with construction of trench/strip drains. How long has this been going on? When was this pool constructed? There is the possibility that contractor is still liable for stuff like this. Where is it you live, who and when did this pool get constructed, what are your state's (?) warranty for construction (check buildings and code). If this is an earthen dam raised above the slope of drainage it needs to be taken down. Send a picture and we'll be able to tell you whether a swale or drainage pipe is in order. Not a big deal at all. But it is for a swimming pool!

If this strip is not lawn and is full of plants then think about a trench drain along this edge in front of that strip. The top of that perf pipe, drainage tile should not be above the slope you want to maintain. You'll need a trench dug, a few inches of crushed gravel, your pipe laid on top, covered with landscape fabric, backfilled with drain rock (rounded 1 1/2 inch cobble) covered with landscape fabric, more cobble laid on top, daylighted somewhere safe (check on being able to drain into city sewer/water overflow not always allowed) but you have to slope that pipe to take the water somewhere else...that would save your strip. Perhaps the swimming pool did sink but that is the contractor's fault for not compacting the subsoil and or disturbing the subsoil. Kind of a big big deal with swimming pool installation.

  • This is probably something that's built up over the past 20-30 years; we've lived in the house for 6-7 years and it's been like this since we moved in, but getting worse. I think it's more that the earthen strip has built up, rather than the cement sinking.
    – iayork
    Commented May 1, 2017 at 19:28
  • Is this earthen strip lawn (ground cover) or shrubs/perennials? Either way, the cheapest, easiest thing to do would be to sacrifice a good 1 1/2 food right at the edge of the concrete...down to a depth of 1 foot sloping to 2 foot or what ever is necessary to collect and divert that water somewhere else. Definitely not onto your neighbor's property. If you've got some acreage then daylighting is possible just don't tell anyone especially neighbors. Keep it on the 'low down'...grins. They now make drainage pipe that looks like 6, 2 or 3" pipes stacked one on top of the other to form...
    – stormy
    Commented May 1, 2017 at 19:41
  • a narrow profile. The cheap perforated 4" pipe takes up more width and needs to be covered with landscape fabric so the fines don't clog up your pipe. This narrow profile drainage pipe is only 3" in width and is already covered with a mesh to prevent clogging by fines. This would take a trench only 6" wide. Easy peasy. You might even find a laborer who could do the work with your supervision of course. Find out the rules where this kind of water is allowed to flow TO.
    – stormy
    Commented May 1, 2017 at 19:45
  • It shouldn't take much extra to drain away the puddles, so I like the idea of the narrow profile pipe. Do you have link to the sort of thing you have in mind?
    – iayork
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 12:29

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