Natural Pool Alternative

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This is my temporary solution to a pool in my backyard. It is an above ground pool sunk into the ground about half way. I know some of you are going to tell me the walls will collapse from the weight of the sand but its not possible due to the weight of the water. I have had it like this two years so far. I bought a sand filter and a salt water system. I even got pool lights. Its about 4 feet deep and 18 foot diameter. It has kept my children super happy. They swim two to three times a day and it cost only the fraction of an inground pool. This year I plan on hiding the grey sides with bamboo fencing. Lowe’s sells 6 foot fencing which I can cut in half and put around the pool. I will also do some landscaping with cypress grass and Birds of Barbados plants. I have not given up on a natural pool though. However I will probably need a larger piece of land. 🙂

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Natural Pool Inspiration from Europe

Today I was looking at pictures of “schwimmtiechs.”

“Schwimmteich” is the German word for swimming pond or natural pool. Since this is a trend coming over from Europe, I looked at pictures and designs from people who have been building these water features in their own backyards.

 

Inspiration for My Natural Pool

One of my goals for my garden is to have a natural pool, I do not want it black though, I want it to look like a regular tropical lagoon but have a natural filtration system. This blog entry is to collect inspiring pictures for my project. Not everything has a tropical theme but they all contain a lush landscape.

The Natural Swimming Pool

So I have mentioned “the Natural Pool” earlier today. I was surveying the area in my garden where I want a pond. I had someone come start digging it out. During my research over the past few years for a pond I have consistently come across the natural swimming pool or swimming pond. The idea is that you use plants to clean the water and therefore need NO harsh chemicals. That is correct, no CHLORINE!

Chlorine has recently been linked to colon cancer, for obvious reasons, plus it dries out your skin and hair and those noxious fumes fill your backyard paradise. The natural swimming pool has none of these problems. In fact if you have you system set up just right it is super clean and the water NEVER needs to be dumped. You do need to have a plant area which is equal to 50% of your pool’s surface area. The area of your pool where your plants grow and filter the water are called plant bogs. Plants take care of waste and bacteria through their roots. You can add some fish for any water born insects. The fish waste feeds the plants. As long as you keep the water moving there is no need to worry about mosquitoes since they only breed in stagnate water.

Chlorine pools tend to start breeding harmful bacteria which begin to tolerate the pool’s chlorine levels. Due to chlorine resistant bacteria or “accidents” the pool needs to be “shocked” by adding more chlorine to an already toxic system. Over time the water itself loses its quality, I assume that it becomes filled with remnants of chlorine and other chemicals breaking down over time, which is why people have to dump the pool water about every ten years and start fresh. Can you see why the natural pool concept is so alluring!

There are of course other new innovative ways to clean pool but most of them still require some amount of chlorine. The natural pool just requires some healthy plants and a means to oxygenate the water. Growing up in Germany we often swam in all sorts of lakes, and “natural swimming pools.” Even in Southewest U.S.A. I have been to Elephant Butte, Balmorhea, and the 1990’s attraction Mountain Shadow Lake. I am hoping to make it to Sitting Bull Falls this summer. I love swimming in nature. My hair stays good and I do not smell like a chemical after. Balmorhea is actually my favorite because in 28 feet deep you can see crystal clear to the bottom with all the fish and amazing rocks. Balmorhea has to visited to appreciated.

Apparently natural pools and swimming ponds are popular in Europe and are starting to pop up all over the U.S. So here is the million dollar question!

DOES ANYONE HAVE A NATURAL POOL IN THE DESERT SOUTHWEST????