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Can an Inground Pool Be Filled In?

Updated February 21, 2017

An in-ground backyard swimming pool can be a great way to enjoy many hours of aquatic fun and games. Unfortunately, a swimming pool can be a big expense, and it comes with required regular maintenance. Some pool owners, in looking at the expense of keeping and maintaining an in-ground pool, eventually decide they just don't want the trouble anymore. Fortunately, you can fill in an in-ground swimming pool and eliminate the expense of keeping up a pool.

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Pool Preparation

Filling in an in-ground swimming pool is more than just a matter of having a dump truck come by and drop dirt into your old pool. Before you can fill in an in-ground pool you'll have to do some preparatory pool removal work. You'll have to deal with any pool plumbing and underground utilities prior to filling a swimming pool in. Additionally, how you have your pool filled in will depend on any local codes for pool draining and soil filling.


All swimming pools, regardless of type (fibreglass, concrete, vinyl) will need openings created in their bottoms and sides, if you're going to only partially demolish them. The reason why swimming pool bottoms and sides need to be pierced prior to filling in is so that future rainfall on the new ground can drain away. In partial swimming pool demolition prior to filling in, pool sides are torn at least partway down. All demolished swimming pool materials are deposited in the deep end or taken away.


Adding soil to fill in an in-ground swimming pool is known as backfilling. First, add any dirt that's been dug up around a to-be-filled-in pool. Once you've put in the pool all allowable debris such as concrete and dirt, fill the pool with clean topsoil. It's important that you compact or tamp down any dirt being used to fill in an in-ground pool to avoid future settling.


Concrete or gunite ("shotcrete") swimming pools are built up and supported with reinforcing rods, or rebar. Depending on local codes, you may or may not be allowed to use rebar from a swimming pool demolition as fill. Before performing any work on filling in a swimming pool, always determine the location of any underground utility lines. In summer 2011, the cost to demolish and fill in an in-ground pool ranged from £3,900 to £9,750.

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About the Author

Tony Guerra served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He also spent seven years as an airline operations manager. Guerra is a former realtor, real-estate salesperson, associate broker and real-estate education instructor. He holds a master's degree in management and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.

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