Pool Demolition – How Pool Demolition Works – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series from last week, we discussed the beginning phase of a pool demolition or pool removal project. We outlined getting the CDS demolition proposal, filling out the permit application, the plot plan, the permitting office, and permit issuance and inspection card.

This week we’ll talk about pool demolition specifications (or specs as we call them) and the two types of concrete in-gr0und pool demolition or pool removal.

When the city issues a permit, they issue either a demolition permit or sometimes it falls under a grading permit. The method the city dictates that a pool demolition project is done properly is by issuing a set of pool demolition or pool removal specifications. In that city, all pool demolition projects must adhere to that standard, unless alternatives are first approved that vary from the standard. Pool demolition specs look something like this (from the City of Los Angeles):

Pool Demolition, Pool Removal

Click on the document above for the full version.

Generally, there are two types of concrete pool demolition or pool removal methods:

Certified: which means we take out the entire pool shell, removing all concrete from the property. Some of the pool pipes may remain in the ground, but virtually everything is removed. Most folks do this when they want to sell the property and be able to say the pool is “fully removed” or more likely they want to build a structure on top the of area where the pool is located, such as a room addition. Part of certified removal includes having a soils engineer (also called a Geotechnical Engineer, or Geotech for short) observe the backfill process to make sure the compaction is done to the building code standard (normally 90% for building purposes) and preparing after the work is complete a Compaction Report that is submitted to the city or local agency to show that the compaction was completed and observed by an engineering professional. A copy of a typical report can be found here:

Pool Demolition, Pool Removal

Click on the document above for the full version.

Uncertified: which means we break holes in the bottom of the pool in a size determined by the city specs to facilitate drainage, remove the top 12-18″ of the bond beam (the top edge of the pool shell), backfill with clean soil to 90% compaction, and call for inspection. Normally, an uncertified pool demolition will be the most cost effective choice, but limits capability to say the pool removal was 100% on title if you sell the property, and you won’t be able to build a major structure over the filled in pool. You can however, build almost any other type of non-code structures like a landscape trellis or pergola, and any and all types of softscape (grass and plants) or hardscape (planter wall, walkways, patios) that you choose. We can help you design and install the hard and soft landscape if needed.

That’s is for this week. Next week, we’ll discuss and show more detailed pictures about the two types of pool demolition and pool removal methods.


Scott Choppin, CEO and Founder