Vanishing Edge Pools

The vanishing edge pool is also known as the negative edge pool, infinitive edge pool, as well as the zero edge, or disappearing edge, or perimeter overflow pool. It is a very popular swimming pool design that can give the effect of water blending and extending to the horizon. The vanishing edge pool will offer the illusion that the pool water is pouring over the edge of the pool into another body of water, or perhaps down a hillside. It’s a pool wherein one side, or more sides of the pool are slightly lower than the operating water level, over which water continually flows into a catch basin below. The visual trick is to design the pool edge so that no walls or deck are evident between the pool and the view behind the pool.

Vanishing edge pools work best on a slope or hilltop, so if your property overlooks an appealing vista, this might be a good choice. But because they are usually built on slopes, vanishing edge pools require more structural support, and because each pool is custom designed and built to highlight the views, vanishing edge pools are generally expensive to build. Long, narrow pools are the most common shape, as this is the most effective way to accentuate the vanishing edge.

Property owners should not expect the cost of a vanishing edge pool to be comparable to that of a similar sized pool on a flat piece of land. There is much more additional work that has to be done. There is the secondary edge filtration system and complicated structural engineering & foundations. The weir wall is a “free standing” wall, that requires additional steel, special form work, and the specialized talents of the building crew. There is also the additional finishing materials and labor for the catch basin and the backside of the weir wall (it is usually the length of the pool as well as 4-6 feet high). Often times the outside of the catch basin also needs to finished. Then there is also the added cost of constructing an equipment pad on a hillside (it should be placed at or below the level of the catch basin, which oftentimes requires footings, retaining walls, and access steps.).

Vanishing edge pools require exact design and workmanship standards at all stages of construction, and should not be entrusted to anyone but experienced professionals. If the constructor’s math is not right things can go really badly. For one thing, the amount of water displaced is very important to calculate correctly, taking into account the swimmers, the divers, and the guys who love barreling into the pool. The constructor has to keep in mind that water displaced can erode the soil around the pool, which is a very important point if the pool is to be built on a hillside, and also they should consider the nearby neighbors land and his home’s stability. The catchment basin is the hub of the vanishing edge. Its job isn’t merely to store the water that falls into it, but to contain enough water to replenish the pool and plumbing under any given circumstance. That’s why a catch basin’s size is the most crucial part of its design. The edge height varies less than 1/8 of an inch in all locations of the pool. The vanishing edge pool may be an expensive choice of pool, but it is by far the most beautiful.

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