Natural Swimming Pools

Natural swimming pools are a fitting choice for gardeners who prefer to swim without the addition of chemicals.

For many people the idea of swimming in pure open water is preferably than swimming in chlorine-filled pool and many gardeners find it difficult to add an esthetically pleasing cement pool into their landscape. A new type of swimming pool is emerging in North America that may just change the minds of dye-hard gardeners.

Gardeners and non gardeners alike in Germany and Austria are turning back to nature as a way to swim in naturally clean swimming pools, free from harsh chlorine and chemicals. According to water plant expert and professor Wolfram Kircher "While many people in the past may have swam in their garden ponds, it was only in 1984, in Austria that the first true swimming pool with natural filtration and cleaning was developed." Since then a number of natural pools have been built across Europe.

From a garden design and the gardeners standpoint, these pools open up a whole new opportunity to plant unusual foliage and no longer will blue cement pools dominate the garden landscape.

Natural swimming pools use waterside plants as part of the cleaning system. These plants fit easily into the surrounding landscape of lush perennials or natural planting. Gone are the stark edges often associated with concrete pools and a softer more natural look is achieved with rocks, boulders and wooden walkways.

The concept of a natural swimming pol is essentially 2 pools in one. One side is for the plants, and the other is for the swimmers. To work efficiently each side should be relatively the same size. Water is gently circulated between the 2 pools, which can be adjacent to each other but kept separate by low shelf or they can be completely separated.

Healthy bacteria and algae attached to the plant's roots and feed on the nutrients in the water, they in turn feed the plants. These nutrients are derived from plant debris, insects, and swimmers. In any pool these are the nutrients that need to be removed, and traditionally that has been through chlorine and chemicals.

The secret to keeping a well balanced clean pool is to keep the plants hungry for the nutrients. Vegetation should be kept to a minimum. Plants are grown in gravel rather than soil, providing a home for the mirco organisms that do the cleaning as well a filter for debris.

Good to know....

  • Typical plants used for a natural swimming pool include; cattails, irises, rushes and reeds.
  • The construction of a natural swimming pool is similar to a garden pond. Pool liners are made from PVC or rubber.
  • The swimming area of the pool should be a minimum of 500 sq. ft.
  • Avoid placing your swimming pool near trees that loose their leaves. Just like a regular pool, leaves and excess debris needs to be clean our daily.
  • Just like a garden pond, the plant area of the pool needs yearly maintenance to rid it of dead plant material and debris.
  • Conventional swimming pools are easily converted to natural pools with the addition of an adjacent plant-filled cleaning pool.

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