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Everything to know about owning a natural pool

Last modified: 2021-06-30 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Amanda Harvey

The natural pool is a trend that first began in Europe but has recently made its way to North America and other parts of the globe. It’s appealing in a way you may have guessed; instead of being filled with chlorine and chemicals, these pools are filtered organically.

The water is cleaned by a small pool with a gravel filter or specific plants that make up a constructed wetland, a process similar to what happens in nature. 

Of course, owning a natural pool may sound like a dream, but what are the practicalities of this project? In this article, we’ll look a little closer at how natural pools function, their pros and cons, and what it means to own one. 

Everything to know about owning a natural pool

natural pool

What is a natural pool exactly?

A natural pool doesn’t need to be surrounded by rocks, tall grass and trees to be considered natural. In fact, they can resemble your average inground pool without all those chemicals. As mentioned in our introduction, these pools use a natural filtration method.

A smaller pool called a regeneration zone is built in an area close by and this zone will house the gravel filter or a bunch of plants specifically chosen for their filtration abilities. Your natural pool and the regeneration zone will create a small ecosystem that attracts insects and animals alike, as time passes the ecosystem will grow and change. 

This type of pool will not be compatible with every home or homeowner, and thus it’s important to examine the pros and cons of owning a natural pool.

The pros and cons of owning a natural pool

Pros

Owning a natural pool is very different from dunking in a cold, chlorinated pool on a long hot day. Luckily, with this type of pool, you’ll be able to avoid dry skin and hair as well as irritated eyes and the immediate need to take a shower. Here are some of the pros to owning a natural pool:

  • environmentally friendly and chemical-free ;
  • adaptable and flexible design when compared with traditional pools ;
  • lower operation and maintenance costs ;
  • less maintenance overall ;
  • adaptable to all climates ;
  • create a habitat for small flora and wildlife.

natural pool backyard

Cons

Now that we’ve looked at all of the wonderful benefits of owning a natural pool, let’s break down some of the cons we may need to deal with:

  • initial building cost is higher than a traditional pool ;
  • this project needs more space than a traditional pool ;
  • it may appear murky or not as clear as a chlorinated pool ;
  • the building of this project requires an expert, which may be difficult to obtain.

So, we have a rough idea of what to expect, let’s consider how a natural pool actually works.

Natural pools: how do they work?

As you may have guessed, natural pools function by mimicking nature. As mentioned, these pools have two separate zones: one for swimming and one for filtration. The design of your own natural pool can vary greatly when compared with others, and this includes its size and ratio. However, the minimum recommended size is 30 to 50 square meters, so if you’re going to install this style pool on your property, you’ll need the space for it.

Smaller pools can still function but aren’t as widely used. The reason for this is that a larger pool area will avoid algae growth, in smaller pools the growth of algae is more likely. 

Another note is that excess sun will promote algae growth. Thus, we’d recommend placing your pool in a shaded area if possible. Shaded areas will also work to protect any life in the regeneration zone. The depth of your pool should live somewhere between 1 and 2 meters. A deeper pool will be cooler, so consider the depth in terms of your personal needs and your climate. 

It’ll depend on the size of your pool, but the zone for swimming will generally comprise between 50 to 70% of the total water surface area. The rest of the pool will be shallow areas dedicated to filtration, water is pumped into these zones where natural plant life works to keep your water clean. Now, you’ll need to make sure pool pH levels are between 5.5 and 7 so that plant life can survive and thrive. 

natural pool

Maintenance

It’s important to note that maintaining a natural pool is nothing like maintaining a chlorinated pool. We can think about a natural pool much like a garden, and thus it will need tending to and love to do well. The type of maintenance you’ll need to perform will depend on the size, depth and placement of your pool. Towards the end of the season, you should complete many tasks.

First of all, prune any plants and use a skimmer net to remove excess organic materials from the water. Following this, you should cover your natural pool with a net so that any additional debris can’t find its way in. Next, make sure to drain and dismantle the pump you’re using to move water from the swimming area into the regeneration zone.

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