How to Design a Natural Swimming Pool

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A natural swimming pool, also called a natural swimming pond, is a body of water that uses no chemicals or electrical equipment to disinfect the water. All the cleaning and maintenance is done through biological filters and plants. The pool is never emptied and refilled, as with traditional swimming pools. Swimming ponds have been popular in Europe for some time, but now American homeowners are choosing natural pools in order to add to their eco-friendly lifestyle. If you're ready to go green with your pool, you'll need to think like a landscape designer as you make your plans.

  • Divide your natural swimming pool into two areas: the swimming zone and the regeneration zone. The swimming zone is similar to that of an everyday pool, and the regeneration area looks very much like a water garden, Each zone will have a pool lined with rubber or polyethylene. The water in the swimming zone flows into distribution shafts. The shafts send it through a biological filter and then pump it into the regeneration zone. The water is biologically cleaned by the metabolic processes in the regeneration zone's environment, which is filled with the type of vegetation that will support this. In other words, the plants eat the algae and other impurities and then send the clean water back to the swimming zone.

  • Design your new pool to look like a pond put there by nature. You can build the swimming zone in a square or rectangular shape like many traditional swimming pools, but most owners choose a natural irregular shape. The regeneration zone can be along the side of the swimming zone or on another level

  • Line your new pool in whatever hue you choose.The lining comes in different colors, such as azure blue for a Mediterranean feel or dark green for the look of a mountain lake. The water in a natural pool is crystal clear, so it's important to choose a color you like.

  • Border both zones with stones, gravel or any natural element you choose. Plant wildflowers and lush green plants to border the pool. Add lily pads and tropical foliage to the regeneration zone. A popular design adds a miniature waterfall and a wooden footbridge over the regeneration zone. A sand beach is a nice touch. Some owners add a thatched beach hut for entertaining and to complement the natural look.

  • Keep the plants around the pool pruned, just as you would in any garden. While it's fine for some leaves to fall into the water, just as in any natural body of water, you'll want to stretch a large net over the pool in the autumn if you have many trees and bushes in the area.

  • Plan to pay about the same for a natural pool as you would for a traditional one. Depending on landscaping, the new pool could even cost more. You can also convert an in-ground pool into a natural one.

Tips & Warnings

  • There's no need to worry about irritating insects, such as mosquitoes, in your natural non-chlorine pool. Mosquitoes only lay eggs in water that is stagnant; the water is a natural pool is always moving.

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