How to Design a Natural Swimming Pool for your UK Home or Garden

Interesting concept

Natural swimming pools or aquatic pools as they are somtimes called are an interesting concept that Bluepools has looked at several times in great detail, simply because from a marketing/green product point of view they are very attractive.

However these eco swimming pools suffer from the obvious drawback, of being a natural wildlife haven for frogs and snakes, and a much bigger disadvantage from a pool installer's point of view that also has implications for the pool owner.

Natural swimming pools are a health hazard

In a chlorinated swimming pool a chlorine level of between 1.0 and 1.50 ppm and a pH level between 7.0 and 7.4, will absolutely guarantee that the pool water is safe to swim in.

In an eco or natural swimming pool there is no easy way to be sure that the water is safe.

Natural swimming pool design unfortunately does not provide a method to make sure that the water is always safe to swim in. The water in a natural swimming pool in the UK can get so hot in August that it is just not safe to use it!

In a natural swimming pool the only way to absolutely guarantee the water is safe would be to test it against a whole barrage of potential pathogens and other nasties, on a very regular basis. Of course, this is just not practicable and so any user of a natural swimming pool is taking some health risk every time they use it.

Furthermore, it is difficult to maintain the safety of pool water, even with chlorine, when the water temperature gets anywhere near 30° C. So if a hot period of several weeks occurs in July or August, with sustained air temperature in the high 20s, you would be very unwise to use a natural swimming pool. So at the very period when you really want a pool you won't be able to use it!

Total area required for a natural swimming pool

The normal rule of thumb is that the swimming area in a natural swimming pool needs an equal area of planting for water sanitation purposes.

Hence a 10 x 5 pool swimming area would require a natural pool area of about 100 m². Such pools are normally designed and constructed so that cut equals fill and there is no requirement to export excavation arisings from the site.

This also allows the design to incorporate some interesting banks and changes of level to accentuate the attractiveness of the pool. The pool itself is then normally constructed using a PVC vinyl liner that is then covered with a layer of sand to protect it and provide a beach/pool floor in the bathing area, followed by the soil for the planting areas.

Design needs to be in place before an Estimate can be provided

This all requires a high degree of design and management input that makes natural or eco pools also pretty expensive. To cut a long story short - Bluepools can design and install such pools - without any guarantees on the water quality and we would need to charge a fee for the design before we could provide a firm estimate.