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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    1

    Lightbulb Perpetually dirty pool. Drowned ants. Dead grass. FEMA to blame??

    Hello!
    I recently moved into a house with a pool, and I've had a problem with finding debris on the surface of the water. Mostly tiny bits of grass and dirt and winged ants. We don't have ants in our yard, and the pieces of grass are smaller than what you'd get out of a lawn mower. The debris, however, lingers at the end of the pool with the overflow drain and never goes away. The other end is clean, and the filtration system is in good shape. The cartridges are brand new, cleaned, and everything runs properly.

    So. I promise this is relevant. The lot next door to ours is vacant, and there are several ant colonies in it. It's owned by Harris county flood control so there used to be a house there - probably torn down after TS Allison and bought through this program: http://www.fema.gov/application-deve...sition-buyouts. (Yes, we're in a flood plane. Yes we're insured. Yes, we knew it before getting the house) Anyway, the pool's overflow pipe goes out towards that property, and on the other side of our fence I noticed a patch of dead grass that has been growing since we started treating the pool for the summer.

    My theory is this: When the house was torn down and the lot was cleared out, I think our drainage pipe got cut by sloppy demo contractors, and itís now feeding into the dirt instead of the sewer (I assume that's how they work). The pipe is probably no longer on a downward slope since one end isn't attached to anything so its angle is subject to whatever ground subsidence occurs, and whenever water goes into the pipe, we get a nice backwash of whatever is in the ground next door - presumably ants, dirt, and grass. And whenever the water from the pool makes its way into the ground over there, the chemicals are leaching into the soil and killing the grass.

    I'm testing this theory with a small piece of window screen placed behind the plastic grate of the overflow drain. My thinking is if it gets clogged up with junk from behind and the pool stays clean, it means the pipe is going out into the ground and isn't connected to the sewer like it should be. And yes, I'll be keeping an eye on it. I don't consider the screen a permanent solution.

    So... What does the message board community think I should do at this point?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,190

    Default Re: Perpetually dirty pool. Drowned ants. Dead grass. FEMA to blame??

    Surface debris is arriving by air, so your floaties are naturally occurring environmental issues. The reason they're collecting at one end of the pool is likely due to the circulation jets not being adjusted properly to "whirlpool" the surface water back towards the skimmer.

    Check around the perimeter of the pool, just below the water line, there should be adjustable nozzles, set all the nozzles at roughly the same angle, in the same direction, this will drive the surface of the pool in a whirlpool effect, and the skimmer should start collecting the surface debris.

    If you have cross jets in the pool, these will hamper the circulation of the surface to roughly half the poole length, so you'll naturally have more debris on one end than the other. If these return jets can be directed, adjust them into the same circular flow that all the other jets flow.

    BTW, if the adjacent vacant property is a problem with pest or other infiltration issues, contact your county controller. Regardless of who owns the property, it is generally against the law for it to be allowed to affect the surrounding properties, whether that be water run off, pests, fire hazard, etc.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: Perpetually dirty pool. Drowned ants. Dead grass. FEMA to blame??

    "BTW, if the adjacent vacant property is a problem with pest or other infiltration issues, contact your county controller. Regardless of who owns the property, it is generally against the law for it to be allowed to affect the surrounding properties, whether that be water run off, pests, fire hazard, etc."

    This is how it looks on paper, but if FEMA or any other gov't agency owns it - good luck communicating with them.

    You can try your experiment, to see if the drain is broken or doesn't have the proper slope - but whatever you find out won't help you much. Digging and installing a new line will require a written approval from FEMA, and I really doubt you can obtain such an approval.

    Example: I own a rental property in a "fire zone". Every May 1st, the fire dept inspects the properties in this area - all weeds have to be cut down, all dead trees removed. However, there is a canyon behind my property, and it's full of dead trees, tall weed and other growth, and nobody cuts it. It's owned by the county. They tell you to prepare your 1/5 acre for the fire season, but they let their 1000 acres go uncut. "Do like I say, not like I do". For years neighbors tried to alert the county, fire dept - all requests ignored. If my property burns down, this canyon will be the reason why. AND WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO THERE TO TRIM, AND IF WE DO, WE ARE SUBJECT TO FINES.

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