We have a pool in our backyard. It came with the house when we purchased it six years ago. It's a very old pool - about 25 years old. We were told at time of purchase that it needed a new liner and it hadn't been opened in a few of years.
Shortly after we moved in we removed the black tarp only find it needed much more than just a liner, but new coping as well as new decking, plus it was no longer built to "code". Tree routes had got into the underground pipes for the filtration system as well. We had a couple of quotes to find out how much it would cost to get it up to code and basically the only part of the pool that is of any value is the hole in the ground. So, we have limped along with the pool and got it up an running with as little output as possible, ie patching the holes in the liner and re-routing above ground pipes for the filtration system. We really enjoy the pool. We don't go away on summer holidays - our backyard is our holiday/oasis and the pool is our waterfront property !
This year, for the first time we had some surprise visitors and so far have spent the week, swimming in our pool, sleeping on the decking. The pool hasn't been opened yet, so the top water has been there all winter and has leaves, green matter and bugs in it. We are slowly using up the top water to water the gardens. We've had so little rain this year the top water has been a huge bonus. Once the top water is gone, the pool will be opened. Our visitors seem very comfortable around people and are not afraid - not even of our cat. Our cat is not so sure of them as they are about as big as she is - and there were two of them ! But she does like to watch them. The other day a few cats from the neighbourhood were lined up on the top of the fence watching too.