Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to Build A Natural Swimming Pond

Swimming used to be done in lakes, rivers, oceans or a pond. As we got older we swam in rectangular, blue bottomed boxes called swimming pools
Swimming pools are changing. We can now have natural swimming pools that use plant material for a filter and look like the pool was there, you fell in love with it and built a house just to be near it. A natural swimming pool will probably cost more to install than a regular swimming pool, but maintenance is minimal and no chemicals are used, so before the first year is out, you have recovered the extra money.

A natural swimming pool is just like a lake, but without the pollution we find in our public waterways these days. It is cleaned and clarified using aquatic plants as filters and consumers of toxins. Use large bog areas to filter the swimming pond.

Material list:

Heavy equipment to dig a huge hole and move the heavy liner and rocks
45 mil liner
Submersible pump
Rocks, gravel
Plant material

1.  Dig a hole the size of the pool you want.  Make one end six inches deep for your bog. Make the swimming area the size you want.  Six feet is deep enough. Make the sides sloping so you can walk in your pool.  Make the sides higher than the area around the pool, so water from surrounding areas will not run off into it and foul your water.  Make a small weir at the bog area to keep the bog plants in place when you start using the pool.

2. Line the pond with 45 mil liner.  You will need help to move and place a liner big enough.

3.  Line the bog area and about three feet past the top edge of the pool as well.

4.  Install a skimmer to catch leaves as they fall in, just as a in regular swimming pool. This will cut down on maintenance.

Second step:

1. Place the rocks around the edge of the pond so the liner won't show.  Cover the liner that you have around the edge.
2.  Install a skimmer to catch leaves as they fall in, just as a in regular swimming pool. This will cut down on maintenance.

3.  Install a dock that will cover the small pump and skimmer.

Finish your pool

1. Purchase bog plants.  Get submerged plants and floating plants.  These plants serve as a filter.

2. Leave floating plants in pots so they will not float into the swimming area. Submerged plants must float free. These plants are the filtration system for your pool, so be sure you have enough of them. Buy one bunch of submerged vegetation per square foot of bog surface area. Make sure one half of the top of the bog is covered with floating plants.

3. Install the submersible pump and run a piece of tubing to the end of the bog garden. Turn on the pump and water will circulate.

I normally do not recommend this as a DIY project, but one of the members of is doing it right now.  C'mon over and have a look.

Don't forget you can read about natural swimming ponds and more in my book, A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond. Download it here:

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