What Is an Infinity Swimming Pool?


There's scarcely a homeowner that hasn't at least briefly thought about how nice an inground pool would look in her back yard. Of course, not all inground swimming pools are created equal, and a negative edge, or "infinity," swimming pool stands above most. Because of the way they're constructed, infinity swimming pools are able to create an optical illusion. The illusion that an infinity swimming pool creates is that of an infinitely extended horizon along one of its edges.

Infinity Pools

  • Infinity pools come either in reflecting pool or actual swimming pool designs. Infinity swimming pools, though, aren't an inexpensive undertaking, and it requires a lot of work to put one in. Often, an infinity pool is sited along the edge of a cliff or just before a beachfront. The edge of the infinity swimming pool that will create the illusion of an endless horizon is the most important and precise of the pool's edges to be built.

Pool Edges

  • In an infinity swimming pool, at least one of the pool's edges must be negative sloping, or below the operating waterline. The water that flows over the infinity swimming pool's edge is collected in a trough constructed beneath that negative edge. Once water is in the infinity swimming pool's trough. it's collected and then repumped back into the pool. There are also infinity swimming pools where water flows over all the edges, but they're more difficult to construct and maintain.


  • Infinity swimming pools aren't easy to site or to build due to the complexity of their design. Pumps in infinity pools have to be powerful enough to push water over the negative edge, which must be perfectly even as well. Pumps in an infinity pool also have to be strong enough to collect trough water and put it back into the pool. In addition, an infinity pool's water collection and return system can be a bit complex and has to be precisely built.


  • Infinity swimming pools only push water over their edges when their dedicated pumps are operating. When an infinity swimming pool's pumps aren't running, water will remain just below the lip of the negative-edge side of the poll. It's very important that an infinity swimming pool be level, to prevent runoff of the pool's water over the negative edge of the pool itself. The illusion of an infinity pool's infinite horizon depends on properly siting it along the appropriate horizon.

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