The first recorded, man made NSP was created in Austria in the mid 1980’s. The concept has grown organically over the years since then, especially in Northern Europe. The industry is still strongest in the German speaking countries of Europe – Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
This might seem counter-intuitive for a cold climate with relatively few swimming pools, but the reasons behind this are interesting. Firstly, there is a general awareness and appreciation of the value of environmentally conscious living in Northern Europe generally, and secondly, their summers are short. Meaning that whereas chemical swimming pools can only used for a few short summer months, Natural Pools can be appreciated as beautiful features in the garden, year round whether they are swum in or not.
In the last decade, the rest of the world has awoken to the many benefits and attractions of natural swimming, and the concept is coming into its own. NSPs can now be found in almost every country in the world, and the industry is currently enjoying healthy growth as the world increasingly values natural products and clean, healthy, organic living.
In Africa the concept of Natural Swimming Pools has been attractive for many years and is well suited to our lifestyle, environment and climate. People in Africa are familiar with swimming in natural water. Many a happy African childhood has been spent swimming in local dams, rivers and reservoirs, so Natural Swimming Pools should be a shoe-in for Africa. But the very reason that we spend our summers swimming – long days, bright sunshine, warm water, is the very thing that has prevented NSP’s from really taking off. Algae thrives in warm water and in the past, attempts at maintaining clear pools with no string algae has been a huge challenge.
This was until properly BioEngineered systems were introduced in 2006. Biological water filtration systems designed by South African experts, for warm water environments has made Natural Swimming Pools predictably clean, healthy and low maintenance when correctly designed and built.
Currently, there are less than a thousand NSPs in Africa, with most being in South Africa. But as the concept grows here and more examples of properly functioning pools are out there, the industry is growing healthily. One of the obstacles to growth is when there are poor examples that scare people off, and that is when conventional pool builders write the concept off. But as times change and people everywhere start to accept the value of nature in their lives, Natural Swimming Pools in Africa will prosper.