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A pool helps to cool down and enriches every garden. However, setting it up becomes a challenge if the ground has a slope. We explain how to skilfully level out a slope for the pool.

In a nutshell

  • The pool must be set up level for a secure footing
  • if the terrain is uneven, the pool may slip, tip over or burst
  • When leveling, the level subsurface must be stable and loadable over the entire area
  • two variants for balancing: digging and filling
  • Don't forget slope protection

Dangers on slopes

It goes without saying that a pool should be as horizontal as possible. Because the more inclined it is, the more the water surface slopes inside and the lower the filling level has to be so that no water runs out. However, a site on a slope also harbors some real dangers:

  • Tilting the pool with a changed center of gravity in an inclined position
  • Pool wall bursting due to excessive one-way water pressure
  • Collapse of the pool construction due to yielding supports or sagging ground
  • Slope of the slope due to the ballast of the pool

Set up the pool correctly

To ensure that this type of damage does not occur, you should pay particular attention to always being able to set up your pool evenly on a slope. If necessary, you have to compensate for the gradient with one of the following variants:

Notice: Depending on the type of pool, a certain incline in the terrain can also be accommodated by the construction. It is therefore essential to pay attention to the manufacturer's information on permissible inclinations.

Variant 1: digging

The easiest way to create a level base is to dig up the site. In contrast to backfilling, this procedure is simpler, safer and also faster, since "only" soil is removed and no material has to be added in a stable and resilient manner.

To do this, proceed as follows:

  • Determine the location and size of the pool site
  • Provide at least 50 centimeters of movement space all around the pool (not required for very small gradients)
  • loosen the soil from the lowest point of the standing area using a spade, pickaxe or shovel
  • Check the evenness of the standing surface with a spirit level and leveling board
  • secure the slope-side transition to the existing site
  • Finally, prepare the subsurface with fine gravel or sand and a tarpaulin for the pool
The spirit level is an indispensable tool for checking the flatness of the surface.

Variant 2: filling

As an alternative to digging into the slope, you can also achieve a level surface for your water basin by filling in the lower parts of the terrain. Either the digging doesn't succeed at all because of the rocky subsoil, or they prefer to raise their pelvis prominently instead of - to put it bluntly - sinking it into the ground.

In general, the necessary work steps can be summarized as follows:

  • Remove lawn or other ground cover
  • Build up compactable material (soil, KFT, mineral concrete, etc.) in layers and compact with a vibrating plate, layer thickness maximum 30 centimeters
  • Check the surface for evenness using a spirit level and leveling board
  • Secure the side of the filling protruding from the terrain against slipping
  • Prepare surface for pool with grit or sand and tarp

slope stabilization

Now, both when digging and when filling, the question arises as to how the transition between the level surface and the existing terrain has to be executed in such a way that nothing slips. Because once the earth starts to move, the effects are usually enormous.

Slope reinforcement with gabion fence

There are various options for securing:

  • embankment of the terrain
  • Securing the ground with stones (natural stone, concrete blocks, plant stones, etc.)
  • Creation of a retaining wall

Make embankments safe

The simplest and cheapest form of securing is the creation of an embankment. It simply secures the land that has been heaped up or excavated, taking into account the physical relationships:

  • Load distribution from top to bottom always spreading at 45 degrees to the sides
  • Example: pressure of the pool edge on the ground: at a depth of 1 meter, the force is also 1 meter outside the edge of the pool
  • Force distribution in the ground = non-critical
  • Course of force through the earth's surface = landslide/movement of the earth

Every slope should therefore always be laid at an angle of 45° or less.

Tip: Do not start an embankment right at the edge of the pool, but add about half a meter as a level space for movement and, above all, as a safety area.

Slope stabilization with stones or walls

Stone wall for slope stabilization

Alternatively, terrain changes can also be secured with walls or heavy boulders. There are two possible solutions:

  • Securing by the dead weight of the structure
  • Foundation on foundations with soil as an abutment

Support heights of up to around 50 centimeters can be easily covered with a normal frost-free foundation in the ground or with large-format stone blocks. As soon as the support height goes beyond this, however, you should definitely consult a structural engineer to determine the exact measure required.

frequently asked Questions

Does the pool area have to have a slope because of rainwater?

No. Normally, flat areas are always equipped with a minimal gradient so that rainwater can run off. In this case, however, you explicitly want water in your tank, so that diversion through an incline would be nonsensical.

Can a stand area on a slope be secured with plants?

In most cases, a slope without a retaining wall or stones is planted intensively. This only prevents soil from being washed away by rain. A real static support effect, on the other hand, cannot be achieved.

How crooked can my pool be?

In general, the straighter the better. The permissible deviations may vary depending on the manufacturer and type. If in doubt, ask the manufacturer.

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