Massive pool project in Stockton, Calif, features, rock, waterfalls and a grotto

Opp 408 Aq Thirty-three months of dedication has finally paid off. The Goddard Construction Services masterpiece is finished, and it's beyond our wildest imagination.

Although the Stockton, Calif., project originally called for a 4,000-square-foot pool, it wound up being 6,000 square feet and features its own sand beach, swim-under grotto, 125-foot-long waterfall, two koi ponds, a water garden and 750 tons of real rock.

"Our clients don't want to travel anymore," says Bill Goddard, owner of GCS. "What they want is their utopia right out their back door. They give us a tremendous amount of freedom on the design. We have a rough number budget, and then typically they keep asking for a lot of new things."

So what exactly did it take to create a poolscape situated on 4.2 acres?

"We started with a flat, blank canvas," says Goddard. "We actually brought in 655 truckloads of dirt β€” more than 16,000 tons of soil β€” just to texture the landscape." Once the land was leveled, Goddard needed to elevate one corner of property 16 feet to accommodate the sprawling waterfall.

Goddard also made use of real boulders he hand selected from his supplier. "Our clients want something that looks like it's straight out of the Sierras," he says. And in order to provide that look, Goddard uses cranes that can lift up to 36,000 pounds, which was necessary in order to lift the largest rock in the project, a whopping 25,000 pounds.

Impressive as it may look, functionality is a necessity in making any pool worthwhile. The pool operates on three 5-feet-in-diameter sand filters, each of which relies on its own pump. The larger koi pond has two sand filters and pumps, where the smaller pond only requires one of each. The rest of the project functions on one pump for the springs and two submersible pumps for the grotto and two biological filters.

Goddard says his greatest pleasure comes from people looking at his project and asking, "Well, when did you add that?" because they are unable to see all the details at one time.

"We love many, many focal points, destination points," he adds. "When we design, we are looking for view angles where anywhere you stand, you look and you see four or five different things."

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