If you ask Wikipedia, “A natural swimming pool or natural swimming pond (NSP) is a system consisting of a constructed body of water, where the water is contained by an isolating membrane or membranes, in which no chemicals or devices that disinfect or sterilize water are used, and all clarifying and purifying of the water is achieved through biological filters and plants rooted hydroponically in the system.”
Clear as mud? In more simple terms, it is a chemical free swimming area, that uses (generally) a reed bed system to filter and clean the swimming water.
You can build one from scratch using a pond liner, a fibreglass pool, a hole lined with concrete blocks, railway sleepers or just about anything else you can think of. You can retrofit an existing conventional pool and if you have really clay soil, simply dig a hole.
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They are low maintenance, actual work (we promise) and can be a natural feature in almost any backyard.
No, they are not mosquito havens* and yes, there’s a big chance you’ll get a few frogs moving in – along with lots of gorgeous birds who will help keep the area pest free. In nature, there’s a simple equation – water equals life. Your natural swimming pond is a paradise for you and a lot of the native fauna you may have even thought no longer existed in your area.
* Mosquitoes and NSP’s
Mosquitoes do not breed in moving water. That’s why traditional swimming pools are not full of mosquito larvae. It has nothing to do with the chlorine (or salt).
The water in a properly designed and constructed natural swimming pond is also constantly moving. A small, low voltage, low flow pump ensures the water is constantly moving as it is filtered through the gravel and reed bed. Mosquitoes need still, preferably stagnant water to breed – the exact opposite to a NSP environment.
How effective is the filtration?
The most common concern amongst those considering building a NSP is whether they are going to be swimming in contaminated water. If you have a few minutes to follow the below link, you will see how 100% natural filtration, is able to take all of the waste from a university campus and return it to the environment as crystal clear water. In fact, it’s a closed loop where the water ends up being returned to the taps and toilets from which it started. Nature has been doing this for billions of years. There is nothing new in the natural swimming pond concept :)
You can also find some excellent reference books on natural swimming ponds here.
Have you every considered building a natural swimming pond? Did you even know they exist?
If you find the idea of building your own natural swimming pond appealing, why not follow Rebecca’s adventure as she did exactly that…