Dobby Cleans the Swimming Pool

During the winter, we have to turn off the swimming pool pump/filter and winterize it so it doesn’t freeze and crack. Leaves fall into the pool and muddy animals with dirty feet swim in it. Let’s not even think about goldfish poop. The pool might not be green if we poured chlorine into it, but the goldfish, as disrespectful as they are, would not like it. The herons would love to be able to see the goldfish, though.

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Rain, rain, go away. You are making a mudhole out of my back yard!

In spring, when it’s safe to turn the pump/filter back on, we drain the pool and get out as much of the goldfish poop as possible.


Somebody has blocked my steps so I can’t swim. That bucket of water is from the pool- that’s how green it is!

There are three garden hoses draining the pool. The water goes to the little creek in the front yard. Sometimes it sneaks into the downstairs on the way, like it did this time.


Garden hoses siphoned out the water overnight. That big blue pipe goes to the pump. It’s up in the air or it would drain the entire pool out through the pump, sludge and all.

Overnight isn’t enough time to drain the pool all the way. We didn’t want to leave the goldfish High & Dry, anyway.


You can see my fancy pool steps, the filter intake (decorated with black corrugated drainline to match the pooltop edge), the three garden hoses, and one of my hula hoops.

By the time our volunteer arrived after school, the pool had drained enough to get in and bail. As careful as Jillian and The Bartender were with their precision bucketing, Stacy’s job was to watch for accidental fish escapes. She also took some pictures.


This is a good time to notice the condition of the pool steps. Straw bales make great steps when they are new, but they tend to rot and compost down in our damp weather.

Once people are inside the pool, the sludge from the bottom gets stirred up, making it obvious why we have to clean it out. This is probably a swimming pool maintenance technician’s nightmare.

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So much goldfish poop. Why don’t they use diapers?

Next comes the goldfish search and rescue operation. They are racing goldfish, not regular ones, and very, very hard to catch.

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There are about a dozen goldfish in the bucket. Or maybe just one. Hard to know.

The goldfish get to live in my bathtub for a few days. One jumped out into the bathtub water, but none of the others did. It was probably just an ill-fated reconnaissance run.

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We cover the buckets with wire mesh to discourage herons and raccoons. (not shown)

Stacy was working hard, taking all these pictures.

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The Bartender and Jillian pretended to do some work for this photo.

I was working hard the whole time. Supervision is very hard work, especially when nobody is paying attention to union rules.


Where’s my corn? I get a corn break at 3:00!

Next, the same three garden hoses are flushed, and they go back into the pool. The water goes the other direction this time.

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Jillian can watch all she wants, but that water is never going to boil.

Finally the swimming pool is full of water! Guess who jumps in to swim right away? No, not me. I’m scared of invisible water.

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Mr. Mallard test drives the clean swimming pool.

The clean pool water has too much chlorine and the fish really hate that stuff. Stacy changes the fish bucket water slowly over the next few days while the chlorine evaporates out of the pool water.


Don’t jump!

Mrs. Mallard watches for me, but I’m not going to swim in that invisible water quite yet. Plus, do you remember what my pool steps looked like?


The sentry

See the prayer flags? The white one on the right covers some bite marks on the outside of the pool. Nobody knows how they got there.

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Seriously, this pool is just fine.

Fortunately, there is a plethora of wading pools around here, plus a couple of delightful mudholes. I can wait a day for my new pool steps.




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