Thursday, July 09, 2015

Puglia June 2015: Installing a Pool

Last trip we acquired an above-ground pool but it was missing a part. The Italian distributors did not stock it, the American manufacturers only shipped to US and Canada, the UK distributor only shipped within the UK. That left us only one choice - we had to squeeze in another trip to Italy.

Said part was duly ordered, flights booked and hold luggage allowance paid for (we are talking EasyJet here). Our flight was Thursday evening so I took the part into work and many of my colleagues wondered if I was taking a surfboard with me.

Our local agent had arranged for a bed of sand to be laid down. Concerns about rain washing it away earlier in the week meant that it was laid down at 7am that Friday morning. It isn't actually sand it is more like limestone powder.

The liner looked like it had been previous stored resting on earth, it was pretty grubby with the red, clay-like soil round here. We unrolled it in the courtyard so that Mary could give it a wash. The instructions recommended laying it out in the sun to warm and soften so we killed two birds with one stone.

Next we laid a sheet of plastic as an underlay partly to reduce the risk of sand erosion and partly to provide extra protection for the liner.

Next we laid the liner out and checked all the frame parts were in location.

Opened out the liner and made sure it was correctly lined up with the sand base.

The edge pieces are slotted together and slid into the tube. Then the U-shaped side supports are slotted into the frame.

The tricky bit, which requires at least three people, is raising the frame and attaching the lower end of the U-supports to the stays round the base. That done it suddenly looks like a serious pool of a fair size.

More cleaning while we waited for Giorgio, our water man. Bear in mind that we are not on mains water and even if we were it would take forever to fill the pool from a tap. We have a cistern under the courtyard which requires regular tanker loads - typically three per week at €20 a pop - when we have a full house.

It took eight tanker loads to fill the pool. Fortunately Giorgio lives close by so each round trip doesn't take long. The first trip was only a part load because of the slope of the drive.

For subsequent trips Giorgio brought all his hoses daisy-chained together and discharged from the upper drive. Once the first couple of loads were in we emptied a bucket of "shock" chloride to start the water treatment. Later fine adjustments will be made by the pool guy.

So we had to try the water the next day. It was pretty chilly but it had to be done. It will warm up. Even by the Sunday it was noticeably warmer.

We have already updated the rental websites with photo of the new pool. Many other trulli for rent have a pool and I think we were at a disadvantage without one. It may not be a sophisticated in-ground pool but you can swim in it, cool off it it and splash about in it. I hope this will generate more interest - we will see.

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