Approximately 5 hours, 1 pair of boots, 1 pair of shoes, 2 pairs of socks, and 2 pairs of jeans later, the pool is clean, down, and ready for winter.
The grass, however, has seen better days.
I finally figured out how Wal Mart can stock and sell a kazillion of these pools every summer. I used to wonder, as I wandered by the display year after year - doesn't everyone have a pool yet? Who is buying these things?
Now I know.
Everyone who buys one gets the kids hooked on the whole business. The swimming, the cooling off on hot summer days, the endless water wars etc.
Then, they go to take it down in the fall.
And figure out the drain holes are at the wrong end of the almost imperceptible slope.
And therefore commence to wrestle with an 18' circle still holding approximately 3" of slimy water.
Don't think 3" sounds like much? . . .Go back to Math 099 - it's a ton (ish)!
What a joke.
A "few" shop vac loads later, and it's ready for storage.
Next year, I'm slicing a hole at the lowest possible point, draining the slimy water out, and letting the fall wind carry the thing where it pleases. For this headache, I'll just buy a new one each year.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
PS - In the name of saving you some trouble, it is always best to first empty the shop vac of the last few months' accumulation of shop trash before adding water to the mix. Just sayin'.