Natural swimming pools are eco-friendly, self-cleansing and inexpensively designed freshwater swimming pools that you can have in your backyard. In fact, a natural swimming pool is nothing but a natural aquatic ecosystem, like a freshwater pond, designed to look like and function as a swimming pool.
What You Should Know about Natural Swimming Pools
Design – The pool area is designed in such a way, that one wall has steps for swimmers to enter the pool without slipping. The swimming zone usually has a depth of 1.5 to 2.5 meters, depending on the owner’s requirement. The basic design of natural swimming pools varies. Instead of using concrete or steel-reinforcement structures, a natural swimming pool uses a gentle natural slope to support the side walls. The walls are often layered with gravel or stones to prevent the soil on the sides from eroding and thus causing the wall to cave in. Fountains and aerators are replaced by waterfalls in natural swimming pools. This greatly reduces the cost of building and maintaining a natural swimming pool and you can enjoy swimming in the clean and chemical-free water of your pool every day.
Regeneration Zone – To create the regeneration zone, aquatic and semi-aquatic plants are planted either along the margins (where they act as a barrier and prevent pool water from spilling over), at the center or at one corner of the pool. Bio-filters are provided at several points on the pool to facilitate uptake or organic matter present in the water. Usually, the aquatic plants and bio-filters are restricted to one corner of the pond and the swimming zone is kept plant-free. Every pool has one pump chamber, containing a pump that draws water from the regeneration zone and pumps it to the mouth of the waterfall zone to facilitate natural aeration of water. The clean, filtered and aerated water is returned to the swimming zone.
Cleaning and Maintenance – Maintenance of the pool is essential to reduce the load of organic substances present in the pool water. However, in a natural swimming pool, pool water cleaning and maintenance is not required because the regeneration zone itself cleans and filters the pool water. Natural swimming pools use green vegetation instead of hazardous chemicals such as bleaching powder or chlorine solution to cleanse the pool water. The water quality in the natural swimming pool is maintained using a combination of live aquatic plants and bio-filters. Colonies of beneficial bacterial present on the bio-filters help in removing organic matter and excessive nutrients from the pool water.
Regulations and Guidelines – National legislation in each country has various sets of regulations to direct the construction and design of natural swimming pools, their management and operation, and use of hazardous chemicals. Inspection by officials for verification of conformity to the regulations can be a part of regulatory measure.
Advantages – There are several advantages of natural swimming pool. No chemicals are used for either disinfection, cleaning or sedimentation of the organic matter in the pool water. Hence, there is no risk of health concerns arising due to chlorine or bleach. Natural swimming pool does not need constant emptying and refilling. Thus, they use less water and energy. Just like any other aquatic ecosystem, natural swimming pool provides a habitat for various life forms. The most significant advantage of natural swimming pools is that they are economical and require a much lower degree of maintenance as compared to conventional swimming pools.
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