Swimming Pond: origin, maintenance, benefits and inspiration.
What is a
swimming pond and how does it work?
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.
How do I build a
DIY swimming pond?
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
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.
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
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.
How do I maintain
a swimming pond?
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
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
Pros and cons of
a swimming pond
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.
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
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
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.
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.