How To Build A Natural Swimming Pool

Planning and Design

When considering building a natural swimming pool, it is important to start with thorough planning and design. This will ensure that the pool meets your needs and fits well within its surroundings. In this section, we will discuss the key aspects of planning and designing a natural swimming pool.

Assessing the Site and Determining Feasibility

Before embarking on any construction project, it is crucial to assess the site where you plan to build your natural swimming pool. Factors such as soil conditions, sunlight exposure, existing vegetation, and available space should be taken into consideration.

A suitable location for a natural swimming pool should have adequate sunlight throughout the day to support plant growth. It is also important to ensure that there are no large trees or shrubs nearby whose roots could potentially damage the structure of the pool.

Furthermore, consider if there are any utility lines or underground pipes in the area that may interfere with construction. Consulting with professionals or local authorities can help identify potential issues before starting the project.

Setting Goals and Objectives for the Pool

Once you have assessed your site’s feasibility for a natural swimming pool, it is time to set clear goals and objectives for what you want to achieve with your pool. Consider how you envision using it – whether it’s primarily for recreational purposes or as an ecological feature in your garden.

Additionally, think about who will be using the pool – children, adults or both – as this can influence factors such as depth requirements and safety features needed.

By clearly defining these goals upfront in your planning process, you can make informed decisions during design and construction phases while staying true to your vision.

Design Considerations for a Natural Swimming Pool

The design of a natural swimming pools differs from traditional pools due their focus on blending seamlessly into their surrounding environment while maintaining water cleanliness without chemicals. Here are some key considerations when designing:

1) Size & Shape: The size of a natural swimming pool can vary depending on available space and intended use. Consider how many people will be using the pool at once, as well as any additional features such as seating areas or diving boards.

2) Depth & Slope: Natural swimming pools typically have different depth zones to accommodate various activities, ranging from shallow wading areas to deeper sections for swimming. It is important to ensure a gradual slope for safety and accessibility.

3) Filtration System: The filtration system in a natural swimming pool plays a crucial role in maintaining water clarity and quality. Two common types of filtration systems used are biological filters that rely on plants and beneficial bacteria, or mechanical filters which utilize pumps and skimmers.

4) Planting Zones: One of the defining characteristics of natural swimming pools is the presence of aquatic plants that help filter the water naturally. Designate specific planting zones within your pool where these plants can thrive while adding beauty to your space.

5) Water Circulation & Aeration: Proper circulation and aeration are essential for maintaining water quality in a natural swimming pool. This can be achieved through strategically placed jets or fountains that promote movement throughout the pool while enhancing oxygen levels.

Construction Process

Once you have completed thorough planning and design, it is time to move onto the construction phase of building your natural swimming pool. This section will guide you through each step involved in constructing your dream oasis.

Site Preparation

Before any construction work begins, it is necessary to prepare the site properly:

1) Clearing Vegetation & Debris:
Clear away any vegetation or debris from the area where you plan to build your natural swimming pool. Remove rocks, tree stumps, weeds, grasses etc., making sure there are no obstacles during excavation.

2) Excavation & Shaping:
Excavate soil according to desired size specifications outlined during planning stage – ensuring proper slope gradient – creating smooth edges before moving forward with construction process.

Building the Pool Structure

After site preparation, it is time to build the structure of your natural swimming pool. This involves several key steps:

1) Choosing the Right Materials:
Decide on materials for your pool’s structure such as concrete, liner or clay. Each material has its own benefits and considerations that should be weighed against factors like budget and aesthetic preferences.

2) Constructing Walls & Floor:
Build walls using chosen materials while ensuring proper reinforcement and stability. Pay attention to shape specifications outlined in planning stage – smooth curves create a more natural look compared to sharp angles.

3) Installing Skimmer & Overflow System:
Install skimmers which help remove debris from the water surface, preventing clogs in filters; incorporate overflow system to control water levels during heavy rainfall.

Installing the Filtration System

A well-designed filtration system is crucial for maintaining clean and clear water in a natural swimming pool. Consider these steps when installing your filtration system:

1) Choosing Between Natural or Mechanical Filtration:
Natural filtration systems rely on plants and beneficial bacteria whereas mechanical systems utilize pumps, skimmers etc., Choose one that aligns with your goals for an eco-friendly or low-maintenance pool.

2) Setting Up Biological Filter:
Incorporate a biological filter into your design where beneficial bacteria can thrive – breaking down organic matter into harmless substances while improving overall water quality.

3) Installing Pump & Circulation System:
Install pump(s), pipes etc., necessary for circulating water through both filtering components (biological/mechanical). Proper circulation helps maintain balanced ecosystem within pool.

Creating Planting Zones

Planting zones are vital aspects of natural swimming pools as they promote healthy ecosystems by aiding in nutrient absorption and oxygen production.
Here’s what you need to know about creating planting zones:

1) Select Appropriate Aquatic Plants:
Choose a variety of aquatic plants suitable for climate conditions in North America including native species whenever possible. Consider water lilies, marginal plants etc., that thrive in different depths.

2) Creating a Balanced Ecosystem:
Arrange your chosen plants strategically in the planting zones to create a balanced ecosystem. Plants will absorb excess nutrients, provide shelter for aquatic life and contribute to overall aesthetic appeal of your pool.

Filling the Pool with Water

Once the structure is complete and filtration system installed, it’s time to fill your natural swimming pool with water:

1) Using Rainwater or Tap Water:
Consider using rainwater as an eco-friendly alternative if accessible; otherwise tap water can be used – ensure proper testing & treatment before filling.

2) Balancing Water Chemistry:
Maintaining appropriate pH levels (around 7.0-7.4), alkalinity and calcium hardness are essential for healthy pool conditions – utilize test kits or consult professionals if needed.

Maintenance and Care

To keep your natural swimming pool clean, safe, and enjoyable year-round, regular maintenance tasks must be carried out:

Regular Cleaning & Maintenance Tasks

Some key cleaning tasks include:

1) Skimming & Removing Debris:
Skim surface regularly using nets or skimmers to remove leaves/debris floating on top of water.

2) Pruning & Maintaining Plants:
Trim back overgrown plants when necessary while removing any dead foliage from them.

3) Monitoring & Adjusting Water Chemistry:
Regularly test pH levels and adjust accordingly using appropriate chemicals – ensuring optimal balance for health of both swimmers and plant life.

Managing Algae & Pests

Algae growth is a common challenge in maintaining any body of water; however there are ways you can naturally control algae growth without harsh chemicals:

1) Controlling Algae Growth Naturally:
Introduce natural predators such as beneficial bacteria which compete with algae for nutrients thereby reducing their population.

2 )Preventing & Managing Pests:
Install physical barriers like nets or screens around your natural swimming pool to prevent pests from entering; utilize biological controls for mosquitoes like introducing mosquito fish or using non-toxic larvicides.

Winterizing the Natural Swimming Pool

To protect your natural swimming pool during colder months, it is important to properly winterize:

1) Preparing the Pool for Winter:
Clean and remove any debris from the water before covering. Lower water levels below skimmer level but ensure enough remains for plants.

2) Protecting Plants & Equipment from Freezing:
Cover delicate aquatic plants with netting or bring them indoors if possible; drain pumps and filters to prevent damage caused by freezing temperatures.

Safety Considerations

Safety should be a top priority when building and using a natural swimming pool. Here are some key safety considerations:

Installing Safety Features

Installing appropriate safety features can help prevent accidents and provide peace of mind:

1) Fencing & Barriers:
Surround your natural swimming pool with secure fencing or barriers that meet local regulations – preventing unauthorized access especially in households with young children.

2) Safety Covers & Alarms:
Consider installing safety covers which can support weight while keeping the surface inaccessible when not in use. Additionally, alarms may alert you of any accidental falls into the water.

Educating Users about Safety Guidelines

Proper education about safety guidelines is essential for anyone who will be using your natural swimming pool:

1) Supervision & Swimming Rules:
Establish clear rules regarding supervision requirements, acceptable behavior around the pool area as well as age restrictions if applicable.

2 )First Aid & Emergency Procedures:
Ensure all users know basic first aid techniques such as CPR, have knowledge of emergency phone numbers/contact information readily available near the pool area.

Cost and Time Considerations

Building a natural swimming pool involves both financial investment and time commitment. Here’s what you need to consider:

Estimating Budget

Consider these factors while estimating your budget:

1) Materials & Equipment Costs:
The cost of materials and equipment can vary depending on your design choices and local market prices. Research costs beforehand to get a better idea.

2) Labor Costs (If Hiring Professionals):
If you choose to hire professionals for the construction, factor in labor costs which can vary based on location and complexity of the project.

Timeframe for Construction & Establishment

Building a natural swimming pool is not an overnight process – consider these aspects when planning your timeline:

1) Factors Influencing Duration of Project:
Factors such as site preparation, availability of materials, weather conditions etc., may influence how long it takes to complete construction.

2) Allowing Time for Plant Growth & Ecosystem Establishment:
Once constructed, allow time for plants to establish their root systems before fully enjoying your natural swimming pool.


In conclusion, building a natural swimming pool requires careful planning, thoughtful design considerations, and ongoing maintenance. However, the benefits are undeniable – from creating a beautiful oasis that blends seamlessly into its surroundings to providing a safe and chemical-free environment for recreational activities.

By following proper construction techniques and adhering to safety guidelines, you can enjoy all the perks that come with owning a natural swimming pool while contributing positively towards sustainability efforts. So go ahead and dive into this eco-friendly alternative – create your own piece of paradise in your backyard!


Natural pool: A type of pool that is designed to mimic a natural ecosystem, using plants and natural filtration methods to keep the water clean.

Natural swimming ponds: Similar to natural pools, these are large bodies of water that are designed for swimming and recreation but also incorporate elements of a natural ecosystem.

Designs: The specific plans and layouts created for the construction of a natural pool or swimming pond.

Conventional pool: A traditional swimming pool that uses chemicals such as chlorine to maintain water quality.

Traditional swimming pool: A standard style of constructed recreational body of water used for swimming, typically with chemical treatments like chlorine.

Season: Refers to the time period during which outdoor pools are typically open for use, usually coinciding with warmer weather months.

Square foot: A unit used in measuring area. In relation to pools, it refers to the amount of surface area covered by the pool’s design or footprint.

Chlorinated pools: Pools treated with chemicals such as chlorine in order to disinfect and maintain water clarity.

Ground pool (in-ground): A type of built-in structure where the base is set below ground level rather than above ground like an above-ground or semi-inground variant

Type of Pool – refers generally what kind/style/vision one has when designing their own personal aquatic retreat; could be concrete/gunite/liner/fiberglass etc..

Synthetic liners (pool liner): Liners made from artificial materials that are used as a barrier between the surrounding soil and water in some types of pools

Natural filtration/Water Filtration – Using plant life (water plants) along with certain organisms/bacteria/natural processes within your aquatic habitat/pool space instead relying on synthetic filter systems.

Insects – Various small creatures including bugs found around outdoor environments which may include butterflies/dragonflies/wasps/bees etc…

Feet deep/Pool depth – Measurement indicating how deep (vertically) the water is within a pool.

Swimming pond: A larger body of water, typically designed for swimming and recreation, that incorporates natural filtration methods to maintain water quality.

Natural pond: A naturally occurring body of water that may be used for recreational purposes but does not necessarily have the same design or features as a purpose-built swimming area.

Pool Water – Refers to the overall volume of liquid held by your aquatic space (swimming pool/swim pond/natural pond)

Saltwater pools: Pools treated with salt rather than chlorine to sanitize and disinfect the water.

Concrete Pool – Constructed using concrete materials in order to create shape/structure; often gunite/poured-concrete construction.

Deeper Pool – Implies greater vertical depth from surface-to-bottom levels

Pool Maintenance – The regular upkeep and care required for keeping a pool clean, safe, and functioning properly.

Pool with gravel – Design incorporating gravel into various parts of your aquatic environment such as surrounding walkways/decking areas etc…

Pool with oxygen – Incorporating oxygenation elements/systems into one’s built-out aquatic retreat/spaces

Standard Pool- Traditional style/vision/size/dimensions/design relative standards prevalent within modern society/culture.

Water Plants/Native Plants/Natural Plants/Variety of plants– Different types species/varieties which are aquatically inclined/planted around perimeter/tucked-away w/in & help support natural eco-system functioning

Plastic liner- Synthetic material used as lining/barrier between ground/water areas in some pool designs (as opposed to more commonly-used alternatives like concrete/gunite).

Design process- The steps involved in creating plans/layouts for constructing/building an outdoor recreational body such as a natural pool or swimming pond

Natural filters/Pond filters/Steel-mesh filter mat/Biological filtration- Various systems/processes utilizing organisms/bacteria/materials acting naturally/filtrating impurities/particulates out of your pool water

Anaerobic bacteria- Microorganisms that can survive and thrive in environments without oxygen.

Nutrient levels- The amount of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, present in the water. High nutrient levels can lead to algae growth.

Mosquito infestation/Mosquito larvae – Unwanted presence/population explosion/multiplication of mosquito offspring (larvae) within/nearby aquatic space

Aquatic ecosystem – A community of organisms living and interacting with each other within a body of water.

Volcanic rocks – Rocks formed from volcanic activity that may be used in the construction or design process for natural pools or swimming ponds.

Cold climates – Refers to regions characterized by low temperatures for a significant part of the year; can impact pool design/construction considerations

Layer of bentonite clay – A layer composed primarily of bentonite clay that is added to provide additional waterproofing properties in certain types o

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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