Swimming Pond: origin, maintenance, benefits and inspiration.
Nature is a thing of great beauty, and when used well, can turn your garden into a natural hot spot. How, you ask? With a beautiful swimming pond, of course. In simple terms, a swimming pond is a pond you can swim in, and unlike other garden pools, swimming ponds are free from chemicals or devices that disinfect or sterilize water. This is because a swimming pond features two areas of water that are separated by a wall and biological filter. The larger area is for swimming and the second, where the purifying of water takes place. This area is known as a regeneration zone and features algae and other marsh plants that clean the water. The water from the swimming pond moves from the pond to the regeneration zone, then back into the pond, leaving impurities behind. The impurities are absorbed by the plants as nutrients and harmful bacteria is destroyed by natural water organisms. Also known as natural swimming pools, the first swimming ponds were built in Austria in the early 1980s, and the residential market spread to Europe, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Czech Republic, and here in America. Today, swimming ponds are a common feature in homes all over the United States.
If you like taking matters into your own hands, you'll be glad to know that building your own swimming pond is a doable task. But before you take the plunge, here are a few tips to help you get the best DIY swimming pond.
Keep your design simple and your features minimum. Extravagant designs look great, but they'll increase your expenses and complicate the construction.
Level the bottom. All a flat bottomed swimming pond needs is a simple dig and a level foundation for the wall, which is easy to build and clean.
A box shape works best. Most conventional swimming pools are box shaped, which is cheaper to build.
Avoid too many fittings. Remember, the swimming pond inlet and outlet pipes will be exposed, and are cleverly designed to blend in with your surroundings, so don't overdo the fittings.
Conventional pools need depth for stability, but a swimming pond can be either deep or shallow. Don't go too deep, rather stick to 1.8m or less as walls 2m and above need more reinforcement, and it'll be easier to clean the pool as the deeper it is, the lower you need to go when cleaning it. If you have a borehole, get advice on how you can use the water for your pool.
Use a black liner. Black liners produce a high passive heat gain, so heating becomes far cheaper or even unnecessary.
Always draw yourself a drainage plan
Use a professional for your water treatment, and for tons of images to inspire you, make homify your first point of contact.
Every swimming pond is unique, and each system finds its correct balance in its own time. Although you can use your swimming pond as soon as it's installed, it takes two to approximately two to three years for it to reach a stable biological equilibrium. Once it has reached it, it will require less regular maintenance than a conventional swimming pool. Seasonal care and maintenance will still be required over the course of the year, though even this differs from maintaining a conventional swimming pool. Here are the seasonal maintenance checks to look out for.
Spring: When spring comes, plants in the regeneration zone must be pruned and tended to avoid overgrowth, and any dried or dead plants must be removed. Steps should be taken to minimize any foreign contaminants that would compromise the quality of the swimming water, as some birds tend to migrate in early spring.
Summer: On windy, warm and dry days, water can evaporate at the rate of up to 1 cm per day. If the water level gets too low, water must be refilled in order to protect the plants in the regeneration zone.
Autumn: Dead leaves that fall from trees can pile up in your pool and clog up in your regeneration zone. A net will help to keep leaves as bay.
As with every type of pool, swimming ponds also have their own strengths and weaknesses, and weighing up their pros and cons before building one will come in handy. We'll start with the good news first.
Pool chemicals contain harmful ingredients that cause, among other ailments, dry skin, red eyes and skin irritation. Because swimming ponds are chemical free, they are a far healthier alternative to chemically treated pools.
Swimming ponds are low maintenance. Traditional pools require weekly chemical treatments and regular monitoring, as well as shocking every 5-7 days. With a swimming pond, there's no need for all of that, so you can spend more time enjoying your pool. A swimming pond's natural ecosystem allows the pool to maintain itself by eliminating the need to add or regulate any chemicals.
As a direct result of being low maintenance, swimming ponds have a low, long term cost. This means you'll be able to buy the umbrella and pool chairs you've always wanted.
As for the not so amazing news. Swimming ponds are a high initial investment. Even though thier different to traditional swimming pools, swimming ponds are the same price per square foot.
Swimming ponds require more land than traditional swimming pools because they consist of two parts.
Maintaining a new swimming pond takes getting used to. Because of its biological filtering system, you'll need a basic understanding of how it all works in order for everything to flow. The plants and algae will need to be managed, so it's important to know what to do and when.