Natural Swimming Pools 101

A natural swimming pool with rocks and vegetation

It isn't too early to start thinking about the sizzling hot summer days that will soon arrive and what you can do to stay cool, calm, and collected during the sun-drenched season. One way to keep your cool is with a natural swimming pool. When deciding on what type of pool to install in your home, it's important to understand the difference between natural versus chlorine pools, a few of the pros and cons, and how to maintain it.

Natural Swimming Pools

Foggy water in a natural swimming pool

If you are considering having a swimming pool installed, you'll need to decide if you want a traditional chlorine swimming pool or a natural swimming pool that does not require any chemicals. Natural swimming pools, also referred to as NPS, began as a popular pool choice in Europe years ago. Today, they are making a name for themselves in the U.S. for a variety of reasons.

Natural Swimming Pool Design

A major difference between traditional pools and natural pools is the design. For the most part, a natural pool does not adhere to the standard rectangular design. Instead, the pool can have any shape you prefer to make it look more like the type of natural pool formation found in a forest-type landscape. This could include various shapes that don't have to be traditional but more creative. A natural pool can be highlighted with "in the wild" type styling to include a sparkling waterfall or enhanced with stones, boulders, or rocks to achieve a natural look.

Filtering a Natural Swimming Pool

Whereas traditional pools use chlorine keep the pool clean, a natural pool uses a filtering system that does not rely on any chemicals. How this works is with the assistance of a regeneration zone that must be built near the natural pool. The water enters the regeneration pool where it is naturally cleaned using a plant filter or the water may pass through gravel. Either method is enough to clean the water to the same level as water cleaned by chemicals.

Pros of a Natural Pool

A natural swimming pool with lily pads and pebbles

A natural pool has a lot of flexibility when it comes to its design. You can design it anyway you like using gravel or concrete as the bottom base.

Seasonal temperatures have no negative effect on a natural pool. However, just like woodland ponds freeze over during the cold winter months, so, too, will your pool if not heated.

Adding a pool can increase your property's value. If you plan to sell in the future, a natural swimming pool is a positive selling point due to the fact it is considered green and environmentally friendly.

Unlike a traditional chlorine-cleaned pool, natural pools require less attention when it comes to maintenance. Since there are no chemicals to be applied or the need to achieve pH balancing, the amount of time needed to keep the pool is negligible.

Along with less time being needed, a natural swimming pool also costs less to operate. The only thing necessary for a natural swimming pool is to use a skimmer to clean the surface and to remove any debris.

Cons of a Natural Pool

Due to the need for two pools (the natural pool itself and a regeneration pool for cleaning) the initial cost can be more than the cost of installing a traditional pool.

Depending on where you live, it may be challenging to find a contractor with experience in this type of pool installation.

Because a regeneration zone is necessary to clean the main pool, you must have enough property to accommodate both pools.

If you want the crystal-clear blue water of a traditional pool, you won't have that with a natural pool.

Before making the investment, do your homework, ask questions of an experienced pool contractor, and decide time-wise and money-wise which type works best for your lifestyle and budget.