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Why You Should Consider a Natural Swimming Pool

Posted on August 27, 2021 
by Dan Wanders

There’s nothing better than taking a dip in the pool on a hot and sunny afternoon and nothing worse than the itchy red eyes and dry skin you get from swimming in a pool filled with chemicals.

Fortunately, there’s a healthier alternative, both for you and the environment.

Natural swimming pools have been popular in European landscape designs for decades. And their popularity has been increasing here ever since the grand opening of Canada’s first natural swimming pool at Edmonton’s Borden Park on July 11, 2018.

But what exactly is a “natural swimming pool” and how do you know if it’s right for you?

We’ve put together this guide to help you understand what a natural swimming pool is, how it works, and why we think it would be an amazing addition to your landscape design.

So, what is a natural swimming pool?

If you’re like most people, the first time you heard the words, “natural swimming pool” you probably thought of a murky brown pond and imagined your toes sinking into the slimy mud at the bottom.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Natural swimming pools are designed to imitate natural pools and ponds so you can swim surrounded by the beauty of nature — without needing a laundry list of harmful chemicals or complicated mechanical filtering systems.

Instead, the water is filtered organically in what’s called a regeneration zone — which is built nearby — where the water either goes through a gravel filter or enters carefully constructed wetlands. And because the swimming zone is separate from the water garden zone by a wall, there’s no need to worry about algae, muck, mud, and other icky things.

Natural swimming pools allow you all the joys of swimming in nature and fit perfectly into naturalized landscape designs. And to make your experience even better, you can include a variety of other water features, such as bubbling rocks, waterfalls and spillways.

Why choose a natural swimming pool?

Beyond the obvious benefit of not needing to use harsh — and expensive — chemicals, natural swimming pools have a lot going for them.

  • They can come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you can tailor them to suit your property.
  • Because they’re lined with clay, stone or rock instead of concrete, they mimic the look and feel of a lake (you can even include a beach-like entrance).
  • You don’t have to cover, drain or refill the pool in different seasons (and if it’s cold enough you can even skate on it in the winter!).
  • They’re self-cleaning, mini-ecosystems. When properly managed the water is so clean you can drink it (and you won’t feel the need to shower after swimming).
  • Because you don’t need to use chlorine, there’s no chemical taste or smell, and nothing to sting your eyes (or the eyes of your children or grandchildren).
  • They require less maintenance than a standard pool and their year-to-year costs are considerably lower (all you have to do is keep it skimmed and free of debris).
  • You’ll create a habitat for wildlife — and by inviting dragonflies and other predators you can keep your pool virtually mosquito-free.
  • Unlike a regular poor, your pond will look good 365 days a year — just like mother nature intended.

These pools do look their best in a naturalized setting, which is what we recommend. But it is possible to build one that looks more like a conventional pool.

Caring for a natural swimming pool is more like gardening…

You don’t need a chemistry degree to care for a natural swimming pool. The plants do most of the work for you —enriching the pool with oxygen and supporting the beneficial bacteria that consume debris and other harmful organisms.

If your natural swimming pool has been properly set up, all you need to do is skim it occasionally to get rid of debris.

To keep your plants healthy and in optimal condition, you’ll need to prune them in the fall and replace them as needed. You’ll also have to remove all organic materials from the surface of the water.

And in the spring you just need to remove any sediment that may have accumulated on the bottom of your pond. Most of this is taken care of by a skimmer that you would clean out every so often instead of the actual pond.

Want to know more about natural swimming pools?

If you’re looking to include a natural swimming pool and create your own backyard oasis, the team at Raymar is happy to answer any questions you may have.

While it’s possible to build and set up your own natural swimming pool, it can be a difficult and laborious project to tackle on your own. If you’d like some help with your project, we’re happy to help design and create a natural swimming pool — just for you.