A Natural Swimming Pool That Works for You
By John Robb (Resilient Communities). http://www.resilientcommunities.com/?inf_contact_key=284fdcfb53503b6d362a75d5644c49bb571874cfb5a179fc85273259247b692e
Robb writes on all sorts of interesting topics – here he teams up with Shlok Vaidya as contributer
When I was a pilot, I spent years surveying the built environment from above.
One thing that amazed me is how many people own swimming pools. In some areas of the country, it seems that nearly everyone has a pool (in some cases, the pool is almost as big as the footprint of the home itself).
But things have changed. We don’t have the luxury of allocating that much space to a sterile, unproductive pool of water that requires constant attention and financial support?
We need to put that space to work.
But are there any other options? Is it possible to build a pool that does more than just support our playtime?
I believe there is. It’s called a natural pool.
The natural pool, doesn’t fight nature tooth and nail. It embraces it in a very tangible way.
Instead of engaging in chemical warfare, the natural pool uses an ecosystem of plants to cleanse and filter your swimming water. To do this, designers create a wetland in a shallow and distinct area of a pool to act as a biological filter.
This include the following components:
In practice, the shallow water of the wetland area is circulated into the deeper water of the swimming pool.
This circulation enables your bio-filter to cleanse the water as it goes. Upkeep is minimal – one simply has to trim the plants as necessary and remove fallen leaves.
There are no chemicals to buy, minimal electricity costs (one pump), and no PH level monitoring. If needed, the bio-filter can be supplemented with an automated skimmer or UV sanitizer.
As an added bonus, because the wetland is a distinct area, it can be added to an existing pool in a retrofit with minimal additional digging.
JOHN ROBB;- Resilient communities.
PS: Because the pool is designed for circulating water, the threat of mosquitoes is minimized. Additionally, wildlife (frogs, dragonflies) will be attracted to the vegetation-filled part of the pool you don’t swim in. They’ll provide a free pest management service. In contrast, when a chemically treated pool isn’t maintained, it can quickly collapse into a cesspool of larva (as we saw during the foreclosure tsunami a couple of years ago).
PPS: I’ve been experimenting with aquascaped environments over the last couple of months, and I can attest that these systems can take care of themselves if you build the system correctly.
Resilient communities editor, Shlok Vaidya, contributed to this letter.
Natural swimming pools provide all of the fun of a standard swimming pool, but without the chemicals and the maintenance. As you can see below, a natural pool system can turn a recreational pool into a productive asset rather than merely a chemically laced cost center.
The secret to a natural pools is something called a biofilter. To clean the pool, you pump water through the biofilter (images via Gartenart).
What is a biofilter? It’s usually made with porous rocks or gravel. Essentially, any material that has nooks and crannies that bacteria can breed in. With a biofilter, you actually want the bacteria to grow because they eat the pollutants in the water, cleansing it in the process.
Swimming pool – au natural