Riverside Natural Pools
Swimming with Nature
Natural swimming pools rely on the correct balance of plants and micro-organisms to clean and purify the water. They are a safe place for children to play and birds to drink, and are a dramatic example of ecological design, combing the natural and man-made worlds while creating beauty.
They are easy and less costly to maintain than chemical pools, providing significant savings in water. Chlorine and other common pool chemicals are hazardous to human health and are not used.
These pools offer enjoyment not only in the warm months, but during winter, too when they can be enjoyed for the aesthetic value.
Often the focal point of a garden, natural swimming pools blend into their environments, flowing into the surroundings with plants and rocks. They reflect the changing seasons and they enhance the environment naturally.
Many people are unaware that the conversion of a traditional pool can easily be undertaken, provided there is sufficient space around it for the aquatic plants. If not, then the pool area could be sub-divided by building new wall.
It is organic matter which alters the quality of the water in a natural swimming pool. the organic matter is continuously eliminated in a process of natural degradation. First, the organic matter present in the water is mineralized. Next, the mineral elements dissolved in the water flow through the various vegetated filters. Throughout the circuit, the aquatic plants use these minerals to aid their growth. At the end of the process, the water no longer has any impurities. It is thus clear and limpid all year long.
We embrace the technology encompassed in Michael Littlewood’s publications on natural swimming pools. More information about his books available at www.ecodesignscapes.co.uk
Is it safe ?
Much safer than conventional chemical pools. Natural Swimming Pools have been built all over Europe including many in for public use. They have passed the most stringent tests in terms of water quality and safety.
How much space is required?
In order for the pool to function effectively and efficiently the minimum water surface must be at least 40 square meters. There are no limitations on anything above this size. The larger the better.
How large is the regeneration zone?
This is usually as large as the swimming zone which means that the pool generally tens to be larger than a conventional one.
How often does the water require cleaning?
Never, as the pool in only filled once it has been constructed. Only the water that has evaporated (up to 10mm/day on very hot days)has to be replaced.
Can the water be warmed?
The sun does warm the shallow water of the regeneration zone and this is mixed with the cooler water in the swimming zone by the pump. Additional heat(up to 28* celcius) can be obtained quite simply and cheaply from solar systems providing it is undertaken at the correct time of the planting period and under guidance to ensure that there is no damage to the ecology by overheating.
What filter systems are used?
No chemicals are necessary in the natural swimming pool due to the biological self cleaning of the water and the plants. A plant filter and a surface water skimmer are recommended to ensure clear water. Ultra-violet is not used as it kills off microscopic life.
Why is a liner used?
The rubber liner provides effective protection from leakage ans is free from heavy metals, flexible and eco-friendly. It should have a life of a least 25 yeards or longer.
Does the pool have to be cleaned?
Sediment can accumulate on the bottom of the pool floor but it is very easily removed by a vaccum cleaner operated by the pump. Some people clean twice a year and other every two weeks.
Is there any maintenance?
Unlike a chemical pool, which needs constant attention, a natural swimming pool looks after itself. Some thinning of plants will be required if their growth is too vigorous. Mechanical equipment may require inspection at the end of the swimming season or on a yearly basis.
Does the pool attract mosquitoes?
No. They are eaten by their natural enemies, such as water striders, damselflies, larvae,etc. Mosquitoes breed in still and stagnant water.
Are fish allowed?
It is not advisable to have fish as they disturb the natural system but frogs ,toads and newts are most welcome. They like the regeneration zone and the marsh area around the pool. They are also an indication of the success of the ecology. Beware that the pool does not attract too many breeding frogs. Too much frogspawn can pollute the water.
Is a natural swimming pool more expensive than a conventional one?
The initial outlay might be higher than the one for a conventional pool but in the long run it will enable the owner to make substantial savings because there is no need of chemicals and the electricity demand is lower. Like in all trades, there are different rates, the cheaper solution is not always the better one.