My neighbor's above ground pool is dirty. What can I do?

Q: Last year, my husband and I bought an apartment in a duplex building in Jersey City, after living in New York for 32 years. Our rear...


Q: Last year, my husband and I bought an apartment in a duplex building in Jersey City, after living in New York for 32 years. Our rear windows overlook our neighbour’s back yard which has an above ground pool filled with dirty water. When we arrived last August the pool was bright blue and inviting. But now the water is a stagnant horror. We fear, as do our neighbors downstairs, that mosquitoes breed there. As summer approaches, we would like the pool to be cleaned. But how should we proceed? Is it insistent to approach the owners? Is there an agency we could call to intervene?

A: Last fall the owners should have winterized the pool, treated the water with chemicals, removed the equipment and covered the roof for the season. Some owners drain the water from an above-ground pool, but it should not be neglected and exposed. Animals could drown or build nests, and leaves or dirt could cause damage.

“As things heat up, they’ll want to clean that up right away because bugs and nasty critters will start to get infected,” said Evelyn Schubert, customer service representative at Creative master groups, in Lincoln Park, NJ, who has a swimming pool in her home that is currently treated and covered. “If we were to look at this now, the water should be clear. A year, something died. You had to drain the water completely, brush it, clean it, treat it.

From your observations last summer, it appears that the pool is in use and could very well be cleaned in the coming weeks before summer. Homeowners usually start opening their pools in early April, according to Ms. Schubert.

You could wait a few more weeks and see what happens. But, you might want to introduce yourself to your new neighbors now and ask them what their pool plans are. Frame the conversation in a positive light. Tell them that when you first moved in, you noticed the water looked so inviting. Also are they planning to open the pool this season? Depending on how the conversation goes, you might voice concerns about pet safety, mosquitoes, and aesthetics, and suggest that they cover the water during the winter.

Yes you are unable to persuade your neighbor to improve conditions, you can report the condition to Jersey City, particularly if an animal is trapped in the water or the weather is warming up and the pool remains unkempt . You can file a complaint online via the online portal or contact the Resident Response Center by calling (201) 547-4900. You might get more attention if your neighbors downstairs, who are also worried, also call.

But before you report the owners, keep in mind that you’re new to the neighborhood and this is the start of what could be a long relationship. You may not want to alienate your new neighbors the first year you arrive. You might want to give it some time and see how they take care of the pool in the future.

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Newsrust - US Top News: My neighbor's above ground pool is dirty. What can I do?
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