Are Natural Pools more expensive?
Construction costs vary considerably with design and materials, but as a rule of thumb NSPs cost more to set up than chemical pools of an equivalent swimming size. This is due mainly to the extra cost of building the filter beds, the extra filtration media, the extra plumbing system and the plants. Essentially you are building another swimming pool, a water feature and a garden in addition to your swimming pool. But there will never be another bill for pool chemicals, shock treatments or expensive service contracts. Electricity costs can be cut by 60% or more if the reticulation is properly designed. The pool will substantially add to the value of the property. Most importantly, the valuable time and hassle needed to care for the pool is minimal. How
Are the plants in the pool?
No, plants are always kept separate from the main swimming zone in some way. Either with a wall, varying depths, or a completely separate area.
How is a natural swimming pool different from a conventional pool?
Conventional pools use poisons in the form of chemicals, salt (a different form of chlorine), and other sterilizers to kill algae and bacteria. The problem with chemical/sterile pools is that nutrients tend to build up over time, creating perfect conditions for algae and bacteria to bloom. This is why you need to use more and more chemicals in normal pools – because there are more and more nutrients in the system. Natural Swimming Pools work because the ecosystem strips nutrients out of the water, starving algae and bacteria. This means that if properly designed, Natural Pools need less and less maintenance over time instead of more.
How much work is involved in maintenance?
Very little. If well designed, natural swimming pools are more or less self-cleaning. Leaf skimmers need to be emptied regularly, but for holidays away, they can be removed and the leaves will be digested by the ecosystem. Occasional vacuuming of the swimming pool is needed to reduce sludge buildup and ensure a clean swimming experience.
How much space do I need?
The size of the filter varies according to conditions on the property. Generally, the bigger the filter the better, but a rule of thumb is equal surface area between swimming area and plants. It is possible to succeeded with smaller filters if improved BioEngineering technology is installed.
What about mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes only grow in low oxygen environments where they have no predators: e.g. in stagnant pools, gutters or rain tanks. The water in natural swimming pools is highly oxygenated and so the ecosystem supports a diversity of predators such as dragonfly larvae, water beetles, skimmers, that eat mosquito larvae.
Are natural swimming pools more energy efficient?
Yes, significantly smaller pumps are needed because there is no pressurized sand filter. Natural swimming pools use less than 60% of the electricity than any other system available.
Can I keep fish in the system?
This depends on the water quality that is desired. If water quality is not that important, a few fish can be kept, but they should not be allowed access to the filters where they would destroy the animal life. They should definitely not be fed, as this will pollute the water.
Not such a great idea. Ducks tend to carry a large quantity of nutrients into the system, and birds do carry human parasites and diseases.
Do natural swimming pools use less water?
The plants in natural swimming pools transpire water, which adds to the evaporation of water from the pool, especially in sunny, windy weather. However, there is no need to backwash the filters as much as chemical pools. Backwashed water can also be used for irrigation so is not wasted. Because of the gentle chemistry of the water, there is no erosion of pipes, fittings or shells and therefore less likelihood of leaks occurring. Slow leaks tend to seal themselves over time.
How does the system handle suntan lotion?
Products which have natural or organic origins are of course preferable, but if properly designed, the ecosystem can generally metabolize a small amount of sunblock.
Can I use the water from natural swimming pools in the house?
One of the wonderful benefits of natural swimming pools is the clean, safe water, but using this water in large quantities is not a great idea as too much new water can upset the water chemistry of the pool.
Can natural swimming pools be heated?
Natural swimming pools are generally warmer than conventional pools because the shallow water in the aquatic garden absorbs the heat of the sun. If even warmer water is wanted, it can be done, but this needs to be allowed for in the design.
Public / school swimming pools?
Natural swimming pools are very well suited to public and school environments. Many Public pools in Europe are being converted to Natural Pools because of their reduced maintenance and superior water quality. Public Natural Pools are growing in popularity in South Africa too.