A natural pool is much like a conventional pool to swim in—the water is clear and warm enough to be comfortable, and there is no murky bottom. But because nature is used to build and maintain it rather than manufactured materials and chemicals, a balanced, self-contained, self-cleaning ecosystem is created that is based on pure water surrounded by plants and flowers like lilies and trumpet vines; you’ll be swimming with butterflies and hummingbirds. These are the general steps to building a natural pool:
The land razed to build a conventional pool drives out plants, grasses, birds, and all the other life that exists within a small ecosystem. Conventional pools use large amounts of energy and water, and their high concentration of chlorine contributes to chlorine pollution.
The amount of chlorine used in chemicals to clean pool water is very high; as much as 95 percent (household bleach has about 5 percent.) In the upper atmosphere, chlorine molecules from air pollution eat up ozone; in the lower atmosphere, they bond with carbon to form organochlorines, which include hazardous compounds like DDT, PCBs, chloroform, and dioxins. Dioxins are believed to be the most carcinogenic chemicals known to science.
Natural pools were developed in Europe to counteract this problem; they have been very popular there for a couple of decades. One of the biggest public natural pools, measuring 5,000 square meters, is near Leipzig, Germany. During high summer, more than a thousand people use the pool in a day; testing of the water has shown it to be of drinking quality.
By filling up your pool only once. as in a natural pool, you are saving an average of 20,000 gallons of water a year, or 200,000 gallons over 10 years. That means the average of almost 7,000 gallons of water it takes to top off a natural pond per season can be supplied for three years by the 20,000 gallons of water saved by not having to refill the pool in just one year. Saving water is saving energy–pumping, treating, and cleaning water in wastewater plants after it’s used accounts for approximately 50 percent of a city’s energy bill. By using the sun (solar energy) to heat a natural pool, and using a less consumptive system of filters and pumps, you are saving in energy roughly the equivalent of what it takes to power an average home for three months. By removing chlorine from your pool, you are taking an average of 500-700 gallons of chlorine per year out of the environment—from the air, water, and soil.
See an earlier post “What is a Natural Swimming Pool?” for further explanation of how they work and specifically in South Africa. In most parts of South Africa we do not have to contend with pools freezing over in Winter but we may encounter excessive algal growth, especially in the warmer Mpumalanga and Limpopo Lowveld. If building your own natural swimming pool is daunting, there are people in South Africa like Dr Jerome Davis of Aqua Design who can build an eco pool for you. Summer is here and swimming pools in South Africa are in use again. If you do not want to build a natural swimming pool, consider following some water-saving tips for your pool this Summer. A big waster of swimming pool water is the backwashing process. The chlorinated backwash water is also highly toxic to the environment. The solution is to install the Water Rhapsody Poolside Tank (see demo/”>product demo). This system reuses the dirty backwash water by processing it and returning the cleaned water back to the pool within 24 hours. Contact us for a free quote on our Poolside Tank or any of our rainwater harvesting systems, grey water recycling systems, JoJo water tanks or solar water heaters (Yes Solar).