Wally assessed the situation, allowed himself a little chuckle or two, then ran back across the street to his garage. What he came back with was a piece of quarter-inch thick rubber, which he had cut into a three-inch by 4-inch rectangle. He reached in the pool, into the light bell and placed the rubber over the hole where the conduit attached. The flow of water stopped. It was a miracle. The water pressure on the rubber piece held it in place like a stopper in a bathtub. What a genius. Wally, in case I never told you, that solution was genius, and that solution was nowhere to be found in my head.
I got out of the hole and ran inside to try and stave off the onset of hypothermia. If you’ve read any of my previous stories, you’ll know that a person will go unconscious in water below 50 degrees in about 30 minutes. I had been sitting in it for well over an hour. And one of the things that happens to you pretty quickly when your core temperature drops is mental confusion. That’s the excuse I’m going to use for not being able to come up with a solution to my problem. I warmed up and everything seemed to be okay…for now.
After repairing the electrical conduit to the light bell, putting in the necessary chemicals for the winter hibernation, and covering the pool with a recently purchased pool cover, the project was officially done for the year. For the remainder of the winter I just worried about what the water would look like in the Spring, what kind of bacteria and mold awaited me.
To my surprise, the water was CRYSTAL CLEAR when we uncovered the pool in late April. We were working to finish off the landscaping, getting gravel down around the pool to keep the dirt out of it. There would be a wood deck built around the pool, attached to the fence structure, but that was planned for a later date when funds were available. The pool was heated with a solar blanket only, so it took well into May before I would venture into it, but I finally made that cannonball into my own back yard pool.
Now, you know most of the near neighbors, and some others had known about the pool project. But I was a little surprised when I got a call from someone who lived four streets behind me. He said he called the pool company to see if anyone else in Rio Rancho was building this pool, and they gave him my name. Could I come over and give him some advice? After I picked myself up off the floor from laughing, (come on, he’s asking me for advice.) I went over there.
He was in some serious trouble. His grade was off, his “fence” had huge gaps in the seams, he had no “Bondo’ on the imperfections, nothing really seemed really square or level. I went home and got the hose level and gave it to him. My pool ended up 1/16 of an inch out of level from one corner of the pool to the other. His was off by more than 3 inches. The one thing I found interesting though, was the answer to this question:
“Did you get a building permit?” I asked.
“Yeah, I did, but they never showed up, so I just tore it up.”
He probably didn’t have enough building permits for all the deck he had going on out there. He had pretty much decked the entire back yard. A lot of treated lumber, bridges, and seating areas on the way to the pool at the back of his 1/4 acre lot.
I worked with him for a couple of days getting everything up to snuff. He was using the uniform 3′ deep liner in the black color. By the end of the week, we were installing the liner. It was really different, using the black liner, but kind of interesting. Still it was another successful Leisure Pool, and the only two I ever knew about.
I know you’re probably sick of the pool project by now, but there is one more story I have to tell at this junction. The pool continued to generate stories long after I moved out of the house, just to be warned. But one afternoon in June, I was driving home from work, and coming down the middle of the street was a torrent of water. I kept going towards my street and that was where it was coming from, in a pretty healthy flow. Right out of my street. Worse, it was originating from in FRONT of my house.
As soon as I parked in the driveway, a city truck pulled up with a backhoe (could have used that a while back) and started digging in the street directly in front of my house. The flow of water had stopped.
Now, I’m not going to admit that I thought for a minute that the pool in my back yard had somehow sprung a leak and flowed underground to come to the surface in the street in the front of my house, but my neighbors did. Every single one of them thought the pool walls had given way and the water was flowing back to the ocean by way of the street.
Turned out a water main ruptured in front of the house and everyone was without water for most of the evening. They completed the repair around 9:30 pm and we sat out on the yard in lawn chairs and had coolers full of beer watching them work.
“Sure thought that was your pool,” Wally said for the hundredth time.