Our secure fenced 66,000 gal inground gunite private membership pool is used for a maximum of 3 1/2 months in the summer in NW Minnesota. Attempting to operate if outside of that range is too expensive and it would be rarely used outside of those months.

After our season ends we pump out perhaps 1/3rd of the water to just below the lights and also to vacuum all the water from the pool plumbing so as to avoid ice damage. We have also been advised that completely emptying the pool would be wrong as the ground water would place great stress on an empty pool. The pool is 45 years old and this has been the long time practice. Since using this procedure we have had no freezing issues with pipes and associated equipment.

Just one problem, for which I am asking for ideas: In the spring when we begin the start up we are faced with a real mess. The pool is full of leaves, which have stained the walls and bottom as well as algae stains. Our start up procedure consists of pumping out the remaining water, perhaps 40,000 gal and then cleaning the surfaces with a high (3,500 psi) pressure water sprayer. This spring we used two of them to actually remove the paint down to the concrete, and after adequately drying painted with an airless system using chlorinated rubberized paint, resulting in a beautiful pool this season!

I am looking for ideas for this fall to minimize the staining and thus permitting an easier cleanup. One year we did pour in a large dose of dichloro and floated some haystack black plastic film thinking the leaves would accumulate on top of the plastic with the partially drained pool. It was only partially successful. The leaves found their way underneath the plastic staining the pool and there was still some algae. Perhaps the clean up was a little easier.

Maybe we could perfect this method. I am thinking of floating Styrofoam to support the plastic film for example.

So I am looking for ideas from those who experience the same issues in northern climates.