Keep It Green – The Natural Swimming Pool

natural swimming pool

A stunning natural swimming pool in Austria. Photo by Peter Thomas.

It’s hard to imagine summer without swimming, and for many of us the ultimate version of that activity includes long lazy afternoons lounging poolside, sipping cool delicious lemonades (or more potent concoctions!) and then diving into refreshingly clear water. And we all know that chemicals are bad, but the chlorine in these pools is a necessary evil, because how else do we keep the water fresh and clean, right?

As it turns out, there is a better way. All over Europe, and now increasingly in the U.S., people are building safe, chemical-free pools using plants and other natural filtration systems to keep the water as clear as a mountain stream. How do they do it? Well, there are two approaches, depending on whether you are starting from scratch or just looking for a way to improve the pool you already have.

Creating A Natural Swimming Pool

natural pool

Does it get any more beautiful than this 100% chemical-free pool?

The simplest way (and mind you, we’re skipping over the technical details) is to just dig a hole in the ground, keeping in mind that the sides need to slope gently down towards the middle in order to avert cave-ins. The ratio should be a 1-foot vertical drop for every 3 horizontal feet.

You then divide your pool into two roughly equal areas, one for swimming (your standard pool part) and one for regeneration (this is where the plants will go.) Both parts can be lined with rubber or polyethylene. Think of the regeneration area as a water garden, where the roots of the plants act as a filtration system, eliminating the need for chemical cleaners. This shallow filtration area also warms the water quickly. Bye bye expensive and difficult to maintain heaters!

The water will also need to circulate constantly, so a pump of some sort is a must. These natural systems often use PVC pipes, buried 18 inches below the ground, to move water from the swimming area back through to the filtration zone.

And now, the technical details on how to create a natural swimming pool.

Greening Your Traditional Pool

A standard swimming pool employing green cleaning techniques. Photo:

A standard swimming pool employing green cleaning techniques. Photo:

Already have a pool that you’re not quite ready to replace entirely? There are more natural alternatives for you, too!

DEL Ozone makes an ozone injector that can reduce the need for chlorine in a standard pool up to 90%. There’s been one of these installed at The White House for years! TechnoPure, out of Massachusetts, makes a system (originally developed for NASA to purify water for the astronauts) that oxidizes and burns off organic waste by pumping pool water through a chamber containing coated titanium plates. Both options are easy to install and relatively inexpensive as well.

So whether you are starting from scratch or just looking to make some minor improvements, consider these alternatives and make this the summer you decide to go green!

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  • reklama

    Everyone loves it when people come together and share views.
    Great website, stick with it!

  • Hottubcovers Canada

    Awesome pool images you have been shared,
    and my favorite swimming is second one-“Creating A Natural Swimming Pool”….!!!!
    Solar Pool Covers

  • Thank you for posting these beautiful photos of natural swimming pools. What pool maintenance is used in order to keep the water safe to swim in? I would love to swim in natural water, but not if it is unclean. If you don’t know any maintenance, I have heard that the  pool maintenance from kings mountain nc provides great services.

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  • Sinparadise

    A company called Bioniser has technology which uses no salt and no chlorine and easily inserts into existing pool systems.  Bioniser uses resonant frequency to actually change molecular structure of water resulting in naturally oxidized pool water. 
    This technology is not new but the application and cross over to swimming pools by Bioniser is the first I’ve seen outside of the alkaline drinking water companies such as Pure Water Hawaii and Easy Water.  Bioniser is availalbe in Australia but has not yet received UL listing to cross over to United States. 

    Is there anyone here from Australia? 

  • Anonymous

     view website

  • These pools look great! I would love to have a natural pool. Thanks for sharing these. 

  • If I were a pool owner, and I want to make it greener and safer, I would use the ozone injector. Although it is expensive, and it needs extensive maintenance, it will make my pool crystal blue without the use of chlorine, which causes eye-irritation.

  • Me too, Van! I never knew that you can actually convert an ordinary pool into a natural one either! A natural pool would look great in a garden. It’s like having a pond and a pool at the same time!

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  • Ethel Gray

    Such a brilliant idea, I want the water gardens idea and the use of water gardening filtration plants , it will give joy for any nature loving person like me. 

  • You and me both!

  • Van

    I like that you can convert an existing pool into a natural one, I’d never heard of this process before. Very cool! Now…I wish I had a pool…

  • Van

    I like that you can convert an existing pool into a natural one, I’d never heard of this process before. Very cool! Now…I wish I had a pool…