Natural Swimming Pools

Natural Swimming Pools

Pool Master Anthony Archer Wills and Davin
“Pool Master” Anthony Archer Wills & Davin

Natural swimming pools are quickly becoming the rage in north America. With the show “The Pool Master” featuring Anthony Archer Wills launching the awareness.  Although swim pond builders have been building natural pools in Austria for over thirty-five years now.  With over 20,000 natural pools being built since 1983.  With the pioneers like D I Werner Gamerith, and companies like BioTop.  All of which are still providing their owners with clear water and complete satisfaction.

The united states finally starting to catch on.  Better late than never.

In the past there was no alternative to chemical filled pools for urban environments.  Which permaculture founder Bill Mollison perfectly describes as:

When seen from the air or high vantage point, they resemble a virulent aquamarine rash.  The color is artificial and the chemicals used are biocides.  Chlorine, which is used extensively, is being dumped into our drinking, bathing and swimming waters where it forms carcinogenic chloroform. – Permaculture – A Designer’s Manual

All we can say is that the pool builders didn’t know any better.

Now we have an alternative – a ecological swimming pool designed with nature.  Most natural pools are purified and cleaned with a combination of plants and microorganisms (beneficial bacteria).  Similar to that of a ecosystem pond, giving you a strong connection to nature but more suitable for swimming.

Benefits of Natural Swimming Pools:

  • No expensive yearly chemicals (biocides)
  • No worries for people with sensitive skin or eye problems
  • Water feels softer
  • Offer delight all year round when traditional pools are covered up or empty holes
  • Connection to nature with wildlife such as birds and frogs in the regeneration zones
  • Easy and less costly to maintain
  • More environmentally friendly

The Natural Swim Pool System

Natural swimming ponds are basically a combination of a swimming area and a plant area that uses living systems for filtration instead of chemicals.  There is a variety of materials used depending on the specific project.  But most contain a deck to hide biological filters and pumps, liner, surface skimmer, a planted shoreline for natural appearance, and a self-cleaning regeneration zone filter system.

The interaction of the sunlight, water, gases, plants, creatures, and minerals ensure clean and healthy water.

The larger the pond the better-balanced it will be.  As the water volume doesn’t allow rapid fluctuations like a small swim pond.

Videos of Natural Pools




Frequently Asked Questions About Natural Swimming Ponds

How much does a natural swimming pool cost?
Natural pools are about the same in cost as traditional pools.  A ball park average for a 50′ x 50′ natural pool is $100,000 for material and labor from a professional natural swimming pool builder.
Are natural pools and swimming ponds safe?
Natural pools have been built all over Europe included for public use .  And have passed stringent tests for water safety and meet strict EU standards.  Making them much safer than conventional chemical pools.

Minnesota is an example of one of the first natural public swimming pools in the united states.  Weber Park.

They test the water daily (you should too) for bacteria and publish their results online.

Example:
E. coli (MPN/100 ml): 1
Enterococci (MPN/100 ml): 16
P. Aeruginosa (MPN/100 ml): 2
Water Temp (°F): 71.9

It has been found that reed plants (make sure water is flowing slowly through reed beds for effective filtration) may be more effect than chlorine in preventing E. coli contamination (comes from human and animal waste).

How big should a nature swimming pool be?
It is recommended that the pool be 430 sq. ft. or large to function correctly.
Is there maintenance?
The beauty of naturally filtered swimming pools is that they look after themselves for the most part. No need for constant chemical attention.   Just some simply plant thinning and annual maintenance of the biological filter is needed.
Will the pool attract mosquitoes?
This is one of the main concerns with building a natural swimming pool.  The answer is the mosquitoes are eaten by their natural enemies.  Such as damselflies, water striders, larvae, etc.  Also with the way the pool filtration system is created there is a good amount of constant water flow which doesn’t lend well for breeding.
Can I have fish?
Can fish live in your swim pond.  Yes.  Although it is not advisable to have fish.  They can disturb the natural balance of the system.
What about frogs in my pool?
Frogs in the regeneration zones are a sign of successful ecology.  The pond water is healthy and some frogs will benefit the system.  Just make sure the pool does not attract lots of breeding frogs or it can pollute the water.
Will you come to my area to build a organic swimming pond?
Our main service areas are Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI.  But we will travel schedule permitting.  Please contact us for more information.

From our services page:

Serving Illinois

Lake County: Antioch, Bannockburn, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Beach Park, Buffalo Grove, Deer Park, Deerfield, Fox Lake, Gages Lake, Grayslake, Green Oaks, Gurnee, Hainsville, Hawthorn Woods, Highland Park, High wood, Indian Creek, Ingleside, Island Lake, Ivanhoe, Kildeer, Lake Barrington, Lake Bluff, Lake forest, Lake Villa, Lake moor, Libertyville, Lake Zurich, Mettawa, Lincolnshire, Mundelein, North Barrington, Old Mill Creek, Palentine, Prairie View, Riverwoods, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Heights and Park, Russell, Third Lake, Tower Lakes, Vernon Hills, Volo, Wadsworth, Wauconda, Zion

Cook County: Barrington, Palatine, Wheeling, Northfield, New Trier, Hanover, Schaumberg, Elk Grove, Maine, Niles, Evanston, Chicago

Wisconsin

Lake Geneva, Kenosha, Burlington, Bristol, Racine, Trevor

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