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Natural Swimming Pool
updated: Mar 24, 2014, 4:18 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

Hey EdHatters, have any of you installed a natural swimming pool in your yard? If so, what has been your experience with it? Pros / Cons? Thanks!

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 505680 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 04:28 PM

Can you elaborate a bit? What exactly is a natural swimming pool? A deep puddle?


 COMMENT 505683 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 04:31 PM

I've always wondered the same thing!! If not, I'll be the first to have one, they're awesome!


 COMMENT 505686 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 04:36 PM

OP Here...Google Search "Natural Swimming Pool" and check out the first couple of links and images (sorry, I can't post links here). It is a swimming pool, but uses natural materials and plants (separate from swimmers) to keep the pool clean through biofiltration. It is popular in Europe, and just starting to become a "thing" here. They are much more economical, environmental, and arguably safer than chlorinated swimming pools. I'm interested in building one, but I want to see other people's experiences in the area (if anyone has built one in town yet).


 COMMENT 505687 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 04:43 PM

Illegal in Santa Barbara.


 COMMENT 505690P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 04:48 PM

687 - thbbbppp! Party pooper. Can't think of why it would be "illegal". Are natural ponds illegal?


 COMMENT 505694 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 05:01 PM

We would benefit from promoting natural pools instead of the classic chemical-filled ones. Chlorinated pools are far worse for our town due to the chemicals and the fact that you have to drain these pools every few years. Natural pools are self-sustaining and do not need to be drained. I hear water quality and water feel is better too. No red eyes, bleached hair, dry skin, etc...


 COMMENT 505699 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 05:18 PM

I am an advocate of natural pools, but there is a caveat about heating; shallow areas can heat the pool with the sun. but you probably will not want to heat a natural pool with a gas or electric heater as they tend to be large and spread out. We are planning to build a natural pool when we get to South America this summer(their winter).


 COMMENT 505720P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 06:36 PM

Just beware that brain-eating amoeba that lives in warm fresh water ponds (Naegleria fowleri).


 COMMENT 505723 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 06:57 PM

@94 you are so correct, not only does chlorine have a negative effect on the environment, but also on human health. Everything we subject our body to is absorbed thru the skin. That is why we can actually use lotions that contain vitamins on older people who can't take them by mouth and they are absorbed thru the skin into the body same is true with the chemicals in hot tubs and pools. Also as we breathe the chlorine it can damage lungs.

I personally won't swim in anything but salt water pools. Can't imagine sitting in a hot tub that other strangers have been in and sharing all that unknown DNA.


 COMMENT 505727P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 07:18 PM

That's more than a little bit phobic


 COMMENT 505734 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 07:54 PM

I would have thought the same thing 27 if I hadn't seen The Doctors discussing this very subject on their TV show the other day.

Can't tell you how many little kids I see in the highly chlorinated jacuzzi at the resort we visit in Hawaii. Probably not a good idea for anyone with any lung issues or children.


 COMMENT 505738 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 08:31 PM

720, for that reason, we should eliminate all fresh water?


 COMMENT 505739P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 08:34 PM

Salt water pools are the way to go. County just stopped issuing permits for them. Need more rain before that will change...


 COMMENT 505745 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-24 09:00 PM

'Natural' pools are all over our area - go hiking, or better yet head into the back country. No chemicals, no headaches. Yes, you can build a picture perfect 'natural pool', with the plant area outside of and away from the swimming area.

Awesome idea, do it!


 COMMENT 505748 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 07:06 AM

@23 - hate to tell you, but salt water pools have chlorine but rather than adding it, the system generates the chlorine. The reality is that salt water systems are a bit of a pain and you end up adding chlorine to get the balance correct.


 COMMENT 505749 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 07:23 AM

Salt water pools: chlorine comes as a salt rather than liquid.

I built and maintain a 9000 gallon natural pool/pond two years ago. No harsh chemicals used. Algae bloom in spring is a problem and impossible to eliminate without some type of algaecide but there are 'natural' remedies. Oxygenation of the water is one crucial element; also have a large biological filter. Plants are necessary to absorb excess nutrients. It is unheated, cold in winter; gets to 85 in summer. The first lily of the season bloomed yesterday.

Sustainable or maintenance free? No. But I spend far less time than the pool boy next door.


 COMMENT 505766 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 08:14 AM

What is it that you desire: a natural looking swimming pool, a pool built with natural materials and a body of water that will maintain a biologically benevolent self-sustaining balance?

A beginning point you might discover useful at this time could include the following suggestions:
a) find a comfortable place to sit in the yard, get quiet and write very short descriptive adjectives that come to mind relative to the pool's functioning and ambiance;
b) include consideration of the surrounding open area available for use or as a backdrop; and
c) use the information to write a short paragraph addressing the pool and how it fits with your physical requirements and the feelings you wish to evoke from its presence.

You'll be far better prepared to ask useful questions and wisely kick the ball down the field.


 COMMENT 505769 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 08:21 AM

This looks like an amazing idea. I've never heard of them until this morning but I'd say go for it, you're lucky if you have the means, these pools are gorgeous.


 COMMENT 505781 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 08:59 AM

"salt water pools" actually have as much chlorine as normal pools. It just comes from salt - the Cl in NaCl stands for chlorine. The salt makes the water feel better on your skin. You can get the same effect by buffering your pool with boric acid.


 COMMENT 505790 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 09:18 AM

Chlorine will also kill your important thyroid. Breathing it, skin absorbing it makes one sick sometimes especially when it's stronger and there's no way for the fumes to escape enclosed areas. I'd go salt water pool if possible to avoid excess water care and any scant amoeba that could possibly occur, long shot, but I do know one who died of it in the South, not pretty and very sad, incurable.


 COMMENT 505799 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 09:41 AM

Boric acid is not good for women who use the pool.


 COMMENT 505834 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 12:04 PM

I must warn you that any size of natural water will attract local animals to the pool. I had an over sized 100 gal water fountain and it brought in the possoms, racoons, rats and mice from a local creek. At first it was fun watching the parade, until the pool was full of tadpole and other small swimming organisms. I was forced to drain the tub and sold it to some other hapless fool like me with nature in her eyes. I told her about the coons, but like me, she bought it anyway. If it is illegal, that is why.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 01:15 PM

749, The poster wants to see a natural pool; could you invite this person to see yours? When I was a kid the Coral Casino had salt water in their pool, felt great. The Casino pool is slightly larger than an Olympic size, the owners didn't want to be asked to let the Olympic swimming team practice there.


 COMMENT 505918 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 06:36 PM

We don't have a natural pool, but we do have a natural hot tub. We've had it for the past 4 years and LOVE it. It's actually a lot cleaner than when we were using bromine.

The company is called:


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